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Southampton scientists begin patient trials of new leukemia cancer vaccine
Date:1/31/2011

myeloid leukaemia."

Dr Katy Rezvani, clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College London and consultant haematologist at Imperial College Healthcare, says: "At Hammersmith Hospital we have been using targeted leukaemia drug therapies, like tyrosine kinase inhibitors, for over 10 years. While these drugs are the first line therapy for chronic myeloid leukaemia patients, they can rarely 'cure' the condition. This new vaccine has the potential to improve the outcome of leukaemia treatments and could serve as a method of managing solid tumours."

Professor Freda Stevenson, an immunologist at the University of Southampton who is also working on the study, adds: "I'm very pleased with the results from the laboratory research, and am optimistic the vaccine will be successful in making a real difference to patients with myeloid leukaemia."

In the study, each participant will receive six doses of DNA vaccine over a six month period, with further booster vaccinations if successful. The vaccine will be administered in a groundbreaking new way, using electroporation, in which controlled, rapid electrical pulses create permeability in cell membranes and enable increased uptake of biological material after its injection into muscle or skin tissue. The electroporation system was developed by the US pharmaceutical company Inovio.

Inovio's CEO Dr J Joseph Kim, says: "This study expands Inovio's long-standing relationship with the University of Southampton into an important disease area. We are proud that Inovio will make a significant contribution to this Phase II trial for these cancers with clear unmet medical needs."

The DNA vaccine was developed at the University with funding from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Cancer Research UK.

Dr David Grant, Scientific Director of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, adds: "We are delighted to see this trial in leukaemia go ahead. It is an important step for us to see the laboratory wor
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Contact: Sophie Docker
S.Docker@soton.ac.uk
44-238-059-8933
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert

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