Cancer treatment vaccines
Like vaccines for tetanus, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, cancer vaccines prime the immune system by presenting it with a small, harmless piece of the target - cancerous cells.
By injecting parts of cancer cells or genetic code from cancer cells into the body, it is possible to stimulate the immune system into attacking cancerous cells with the same features.
Southampton created the first ‘fusion vaccines’, joining these cancer ‘antigens’ with fragments from the tetanus toxin to spark a stronger immune response.
Built on the expertise of Southampton researchers like Prof Tim Elliott, these vaccines have shown early clinical benefits in prostate and bowel cancer; further clinical trials led by Christian Ottensmeier are taking these treatments and other vaccines forward.