A man in the United Kingdom, named Graham Booth, battling a recurring head and neck cancer has received what physicians called a ‘cancer vaccine’.
The treatment described by experts as a major development in cancer research and treatment is designed to train the individual’s body to recognise and defend the body from specific cancers.
As reported by Medical News Today, the vaccine treatment was designed specifically for this patient to prevent his cancer from recurring.
Although other cancer vaccines already exist, this specific injection is personalised to the person’s DNA.
The treatment, according to Medical News Today, consists of a series of subcutaneous injections, which healthcare professionals deliver beneath the skin.
Although the trial is not yet over, experts say if it is successful, the vaccine will be groundbreaking in the field of cancer treatment.
Graham Booth is a father of five children and lives in West Kirkby in the UK. He first received a diagnosis of head and neck cancer in 2011, and, despite treatment, cancer returned four more times.
“When I had my first cancer treatment in 2011, I was under the impression that the cancer would not return,” says Mr. Booth. “My biggest fear was realised in 2016 when it came back and then in 2019 and then two cases in 2021.”
After Mr. Booth’s cancer returned in 2021, he began feeling hopeless. However, he is now participating in the clinical trial to try to prevent his cancer from returning, Medical News Today reported.
“Last year, I had the feeling of the cancer progressing, and there were not a lot of options left,” says Mr. Booth. “This clinical trial has opened new doorways and gives me a bit of hope that my cancer won’t come back. And this could open doorways for other people. I’m hopefully looking at a brighter future. A bit of hope that it never returns, which would mean the world to my family and everyone around me.”
Dr. Christian Ottensmeier, professor of immuno-oncology at the University of Liverpool and consultant medical oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, is overseeing the trial.
“It is a really exciting day in this important and potentially game-changing research,” says Dr. Ottensmeier.
Mr. Booth will receive more customised immunotherapy injections over the next year. If the vaccine is successful, it will train his immune system to prevent the cancer from recurring.
“To have reached the stage of a patient receiving this treatment — that only a few years ago was thought of as science fiction — is truly amazing,” Ottensmeier said.
Although Mr. Booth is the first participant in this clinical trial, Dr. Ottensmeier says that the researchers are adding more patients and hope that they will eventually be able to help people with other types of cancer.
“We are really grateful to Mr. Booth that he has agreed to participate in this clinical research trial,” says Dr. Ottensmeier. “It is wonderful that we have been able to move from the theoretical stage of this research into creating a treatment for real people. We have all waited so long for this day to come. We think this will make a real difference to the patients we treat at Clatterbridge.”