UK researchers start human trials on melanoma vax 'cure'

A group of researchers at Nottingham University in the UK are planning to launch a human trial of a new vaccine for metastatic melanoma. Professor Lindy Durrant, the head of research at the company developing the vaccine, says that the vaccine contains DNA and tumor fragments so that it will activate only specific immune cells rather than the entire immune system.

"This is huge," Durrant told the Daily Mail. "We could now have a vaccine that can target a tumor and kill it without damage to surrounding healthy tissues or cells. In the short term, this could cure some patients with the disease." The vaccine, dubbed SCIB1, was developed by Scancell and is being given to patients with melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, that has spread to other parts of the body.  

In a recent release, Scancell described SCIB1 as a novel DNA vaccine that could "generate the high-avidity T-cells that kill cancer cells, which may overcome the current limitations of most cancer vaccines."

"This is a very clever vaccine and I believe it will increase the cure rate for patients in the future," noted Professor Karol Sikora. The vaccine has a very long way to go though, with researchers speculating that it could be 10 years before a commercial use would be allowed.

- here's the story from the Daily Mail