Testing vaccine to reverse melanoma

May 27, 2010 at 6:12 PM

NOTTINGHAM, England, May 27 (UPI) -- British researchers have begun testing a vaccine to reverse the deadly skin cancer known as melanoma.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in England, led by Lindy Durrants, have developed the vaccine, which contains DNA and other genetic material from the patient's tumor.

The goal is to "switch on" the body's own immune cells to target the melanoma cells and leave healthy cells alone, the researchers said.

"It is still at a very early stage and impossible to predict the outcome of the clinical trial but if our results from the lab are replicated in patients I think we have a good chance of dramatically improving the chances of successful treatment," Durrants said in a statement.

"We are hoping that the vaccine will cure between 10 percent and 20 percent of patients with malignant melanoma."

Durrants and colleagues will be giving the vaccine shortly to patients in Nottingham City, Manchester and Newcastle. They will begin with patients who have melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body.

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