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Lifespan-boosting cancer vaccine developed in Russia

Novosibirsk scientists passed clinical tests, reported to increase patient lifespan more than twofold
AP PhotoNational Institutes of Health, National Center for Microscopy, Tom Deerinck
AP PhotoNational Institutes of Health, National Center for Microscopy, Tom Deerinck

NOVOSIBIRSK, October 30 (Itar-Tass) - Scientists of the Institute of Clinical Immunology in the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Novosibirsk have developed a vaccine for the treatment of cancer, the institute's director, Professor Vladimir Kozlov, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

The vaccine has already successfully passed clinical tests. Currently, it is being given to patients by injection  at the third and fourth stages of cancer and is reported as having increased patient lifespan more than twofold.

“We are deriving dendritic cells from the human body and loading them with tumor antigens," the scientist said. "Dendritic cells process them, then we inject the cells into the patient and they start working in the body evoking a strong immune response. That is, they are actively fighting the tumor."

The institute's creation "is not a classical vaccine, which is the means to prevent the illness", Professor Kozlov said. "In fact, it is cell therapy.”

The vaccine is counteracting several types of cancer - colorectal (bowel) cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer - and the institute is ready to start its industrial production, Kozlov added.

He warned, however, that “one should not seek a panacea for malign tumors as they cannot be overcome with only one tool. Along with dendritic cells, there are other cells that fight cancer so all means are to be applied in complex. An immunomodulating cocktail is needed for a far-reaching effect,” Kozlov said.

Other types of therapy were to be used as well, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the professor said. Treatment should vary case by case, he said, adding that the institute was already developing preventive vaccines against other illnesses, atherosclerosis among them, and that they would be presented soon.