Pancreatic cancer vaccine on trial

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Doctors say that more than a 1000 patients at 53 hospitals around the UK are taking part in a vaccine trial against pancreatic cancer. The Royal Liverpool University Hospital is coordinating a trial of a therapeutic cancer vaccine.

Unlike most vaccines which aim to prevent disease, the jab is aimed at treating those already diagnosed with the condition.

Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have barely improved in the past 40 years with patients typically having six months to live after diagnosis.

The aim is to prime the immune system to attack cancer cells. It will be more than a year before the results of the trial are known.

Prof John Neoptolemos, Head of School of Cancer Studies at the University of Liverpool, explains how the vaccine works.

This story was first published on 14 April 2011

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