Cancer vaccine. Thoughts?

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I was sent the link to this article this morning about cancer vaccines, and I have had mixed thoughts about it myself, and was wondering if people may want to discuss it here.  I think the headline is initially very misleading, I first thought that it was for a vaccine to stop people getting cancer at any point in their lifetime. How amazing would that be. But now reading the article the patient receiving this vaccine trial, would have finished their treatment for cancer, and the cells from their cancer are used to formulate their own personal vaccine that is injected into them. These injections, or infusions, stimulate the immune system, I guess in the same way that immunotherapy would? But this is a personalised vaccine to your own cancer, so no 2 vaccines would be the same. 

They are saying that this could be used for most common cancers, ie bowel, breast and lung, but I think they are looking at bowel patients at the present time.

I’ll pop the link below if anyone is interested in having a read. 


  • I will read the link, though i do have my own thoughts on  it as such.

    I did have immunotherapy for two years, to jump start your immune system, and i was

    . very lucky.

    A lot of people where not and caused them many problems.

    With immunotherapy    your  own body fights  the cancer, your immune system goes into over drive, and it recognizes the cancer, though your own body can cause loads and loads of other problems.,

    Though will read later as have an appointment.

  • Good luck at your appointment Ellie. When I first joined the online community, immunotherapy was in its early stages of trials, which If I remember correctly, you were one of the first lung patients to receive it? That’s why I think it is important to remember how every drug started as a trial, and just how many lives have been saved because of drugs like immunotherapy. X 


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    Maya Angelou

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  • Yes i was the first patient for my oncologist, it has come a long way, since i was put on it.

    At start was only used for melanoma, 

    then granted for lung now used on many different cancers.

    Nothing wrong with our memories Chellie..

    About the only thing that works for me at moment lol

  • I think personalised immunotherapy will become the standard method of treating high risk cancers in the future. The existing immunotherapy drugs have already been game changers for many people. Hopefully in years to come we will look back at broad brush chemo in the same way we look back at the debilitating early attempts at radiotherapy. 

  • I think that genetics will play a greater part in drug development in future. I've wondered for a long time if the side effects (adverse events) that can occur with immunotherapy could be 'predicted', if all the people that have had them had their DNA checked. My guess is that it's possible that all those, like me, that have 'lost' their pituitary gland have sequences in their DNA that match. Same for those who have had thyroid damage. So, before treatment drugs are chosen, you have a DNA sample taken, and it is checked to see if the sequences in it make it more likely that you will get this side effect, or that one. Then they can decide which drug might be safest for you to have.

    At the moment, they have no idea how your body will react to the drugs, which side effects you are likely to's a bit of a gamble! And the side effects can be so serious....and permanent.

    Yes, immunotherapy has been a game-changer for some cancers, but it is still at the beginning of development. It will be fascinating to see what happens with new cancer treatments going forwards.