In a significant development in the treatment of kidney cancer, British scientists have successfully treated two kidney cancer patients with a vaccine that uses the body’s immune system to fight tumor cells. The kidney tumor in one patient disappeared completely, while the one in another patient shrank considerably, after being treated with this new vaccine. The vaccine named ‘TroVax’ was developed by Oxford Biomedica, an UK based biopharmaceutical Company that was established in 1995 as a spin out from Oxford University. This company is involved in development of novel gene-based therapeutics in the areas of oncology and neurotherapy. The vaccine was successfully tested on 150 kidney cancer patients, during the Phase-II trials and the results were encouraging.

Around three in 10,000 people develop kidney cancer and about 12,000 people die every year from this disease in United States. Men are more prone to this disease, with the vulnerability increasing after the age of 55. Dr. Mike Mcdonald, Oxford Biomedica’s Chief Medical Officer, said that the results of the Phase-II trials were encouraging and indicates that ‘TroVax’ can be administered safely on kidney cancer patients.

The vaccine fights tumor cells by triggering antibodies in our body to respond to 5T4, which is a protein present in kidney tumors in almost 90% of kidney cancer patients.

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