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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Preclinical and Clinical Evaluation of Therapeutic Vaccines - 21st-22nd January 2002, London

Since as long ago as the 1890s, when William Coley used streptococcal cultures to treat patients with advanced sarcoma, it has been known that the immune system can be prompted to attack cancer cells. More recently, melanoma tumours in animals have been shown to regress when injected with modified autologous cancer cells primed to stimulate an immune response. And now, somewhat like the resurgence of interest surrounding recent therapeutic success with monoclonal antibodies, the concept of stimulating the immune system to recognise and destroy foreign or indeed tumour cells, so-called 'therapeutic vaccines', is, it seems, again in vogue.This kind of technology is distinct from normal vaccination in that the patient already has the disease or condition before the vaccine is given. For any number of reasons, the patient has not already responded to the disease-associated antigens - possibly because they are 'self'-antigens (on endogenous cells such as tumour cells), or they are hidden from the immune response by directly disrupting or affecting immune cell function (HIV).


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By Dr Helen Abbott and Dr Keith Chidwick of Technomark Consulting Services Limited
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Dr Helen Abbott
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Dr Keith Chidwick
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