Vaccine may help to boost chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer

20th April 2011

A trial to test the effectiveness of a drug which may help people suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer prolong their lives has begun.

More than 1,000 people have started the final trials for the drug TeloVac, which doctors hope will help to prime the body to kill cancer cells and boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment.

Previous studies have shown that people given the vaccine, which is called GV1001, live longer than those who went through chemotherapy alone, the Press Association reported.

John Neoptolemos, one of the research leaders, said: "This will be a pivotal trial. If it's successful, it would make a real difference to the way clinicians behave and patients are treated."

Around 7,600 are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in Britain. Currently only three per cent of those live more than five years after diagnosis. Although GV1001 would not help to cure the disease, it could help to prolong the lives of sufferers.

Plans are now underway to test the vaccine on other forms of cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is not one of the most common, but it is one of the most deadly, as it is difficult to detect and difficult to treat.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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