Cancer Testing

Scientists at the University of Southampton have developed a drug to strengthen the immune system to destroy cancer.  Many caners can switch immune cells off which make it unable for them to attack the tumor and stop its growth. This new drug, ChiLob 7/4, helps to increase the immune system and switch the immune cells back on so it can attack cancerous tumors in difficult areas to treat such as the pancreas, head and neck.  A trial has already been done among 26 pancreatic cancer patients and the results are promising. Scientists will start a £5- million European Union funded trial of the treatment beginning next year.  The research of this new cancer drug is being led by Professor Martin Glennie, a cancer specialist at the University of Southampton.  The drug is apart of a cancer treatment known as immunotherapy which is an attempt to use the patient’s immune system to target cancerous tumors rather than chemotherapy or radiation. Currently, there is only one immunotherapy (called Ipilimumab)  which has been approved to be used in patients. Professor Glennie said he hoped ChiLob 7/4 could start being used widely in patients within the next five years if the clinical trials are successful. He also added “We know from our phase one trials that it produces symptoms like the flu, but this is relatively mild compared to the side effects of chemotherapy and disappears once the antibodies have gone away.”


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