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Phlebotomists in UK medical jobs could soon find themselves involved in developing an anti-cancer vaccine, tailored to enhance a patient's immune response.
Human dendritic cells grown using a sample of a cancer patient's blood have been mixed with proteins from the patient's tumour to develop a vaccine by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
In tests, patients injected with a vaccine developed using their own cells showed signs of an anti-tumour response, evident specifically in T-cells, which commonly protect the body from disease.
Lead researcher Richard Barth, who published the findings in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, conceives the vaccine being used to prevent regrowth of metestatic tumours following resection of metastases.
"We showed that a tumor lysate-pulsed DC vaccine can induce immune responses against the patient's own tumor in a high proportion of patients," stated Dr Barth.
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of East Anglia have suggested that synthetic UDP-Galactose molecule derivatives could be used to fight the spread of cancer in humans.
Findings published in the Nature Chemical Biology journal indicated that the molecules could block glycosyltransferases enzymes responsible for the creation of a sugar coating on the surface of cancer cells, which contributes to communication between cancer and normal cells in the body.
Written by James Puckle
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