Company develops vaccine that ‘could mark a paradigm shift’ in prostate cancer treatment
Prostate cancer: Dr Philippa Kaye discusses symptoms
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In recent years Swedish company RhoVac has been developing a vaccine for prostate cancer.
The vaccine in question stimulates the body’s T-Cells so they attack and destroy cancer cells with a high level of protein known as RhoC.
It is this protein that gives cancer cells their ability to migrate and enter other tissue.
Another word for this process is metastasis, where the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
Of their vaccine CEO Anders Mansson said the important thing was the focus of the treatment.
They noted: “There have been some attempts at developing vaccines for prostate cancer in the past, but they have been aimed at the very late-stage tumours.
“It’s much better to vaccinate when the immune system has a reasonable chance of overcoming the obstacle, when there are as few metastatic cancer cells as possible.”
The vaccination is part of a shift from a reactive to a proactive treatment plan.
Meanwhile, the vaccine has had promising success so far in Phase I and Phase II trials.
Mansson said in more than three years all patients involved in these trials have immunity from the disease.
At the moment a Phase IIb trial is ongoing with the results set to be revealed later this year.
If the Phase IIb trial is successful it could mark a paradigm shift, said Mansson.
“At the moment, typically, you’re diagnosed with localised cancer in the prostate, and treated with surgery or radiation,” said the RhoVac CEO.
However, Mansson said “there’s nothing available in terms of treatment that prevents metastases”.
Going forward, the hope is that new treatments, such as RhoVac’s vaccine will bring more focus on preventing cancer from spreading to different parts of the body.
These developments come at a time when the cancer outlook in the UK is not positive.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the length of time patients are waiting for treatment on the NHS, there are concerns cancer survival rates may start to fall.
Furthermore, due to the cost of living crisis and other financial pressures, fewer people can afford private treatment.
The NHS waiting list is predicted to grow over the next two years.
Should a man wish to check their risk of prostate cancer they can do so via Prostate Cancer UK’s 30 second checker.
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