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New treatment Vaccine trial coming for Stimuvax


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Promising new lung cancer vaccine for trial in WA

16th January 2007, 6:00 WST

A ground-breaking lung cancer vaccine which could extend the lives of victims is set to undergo a trial in WA by mid-year as part of a global study.

Cancer Council WA professor of clinical cancer research Michael Millward said yesterday that the drug — called Stimuvax — told the body’s immune system to attack cells which had a type of protein unique to cancerous cells.

Professor Millward said the phase three study would be conducted on cancer patients whose cancer had gone into remission after chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“This is not a preventative vaccine like the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil. It is a treatment vaccine,” Professor Millward said.

“This is a new approach to dealing with lung cancer and it is critically important to develop new ways to treat it.

“Lung cancer is difficult to treat and most patients do not get symptoms until the cancer is quite progressed.”

Professor Millward said each year about 50 people had lung cancer in remission following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Cancer Council WA figures showed that lung cancer was the biggest cause of cancer-related deaths in WA during 2004 and more than 800 new cases were detected each year.

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