Wirral is trying a vaccine on cancer patients

A WIRRAL man has become the first in the UK to test a ‘vaccine’ which it is hoped will prevent his recurring head and neck cancer from coming back.

The clinical research team at Clatterbridge Cancer Center gave patient Graham Booth an injection of a therapy tailored to his personal DNA and designed to help his own immune system ward off cancer permanently.

Graham first had head and neck cancer in 2011 and then returned four times, meaning each time he needed grueling treatment, including facial surgery, reconstruction and a radiotherapy. He now hopes this new treatment – part of Transgene’s clinical research study – will prevent him from coming back.

Graham, 54, a dad of five, will take a year-long course of immunotherapy injections in a bid to keep him cancer-free, as part of a research project designed to reduce deaths and recurrence of head and neck cancers, including throat, neck, mouth and tongue.

Graham, from West Kirby, said he was not worried about being the first person in the UK to receive this pioneering treatment and that it was ‘opening new doors’ which gave him hope that the cancer wouldn’t come back.

He added: “When I had my first cancer treatment in 2011, I felt like the cancer was not coming back.

“My biggest fear came true in 2016 when she came back, then in 2019, then two cases in 2021.

“Last year I felt like the cancer was progressing and there weren’t many options left.

“This clinical trial has opened new doors and gives me some hope that my cancer won’t come back. And it could open doors for other people.

“I hope I see a better future.”

Graham, pictured above, continued: ‘A little hope he never comes back – which would mean the world to my family and everyone around me.

The UK trial’s chief investigator, Professor Christian Ottensmeier, consultant medical oncologist at Clatterbridge Cancer Center and professor of immuno-oncology at the University of Liverpool, said: “It’s a really exciting day in this important and potentially revolutionary research.

“To have reached the stage of a patient receiving this treatment which only a few years ago was considered science fiction, is truly incredible.

“We are truly grateful to Dr. Booth for agreeing to participate in this clinical research trial.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to move from the theoretical stage of this research to creating a treatment for real people. We’ve all waited so long for this day to come.

“We believe this will make a real difference to the patients we treat at Clatterbridge.”

Professor Ottensmeier said patients would also have a better experience with the treatment – which is made in France by biotech company Transgene – as there would be far fewer side effects as healthy tissues and cells would not be affected. damaged, as is usually the case in chemotherapy and radiotherapy.”

Globe Wirral:

Professor Christian Ottensmeier

He said: “This treatment is unlikely to cause significant side effects in our patients, but it will likely result in very significant benefits.”

The Transgene study, conducted at Clatterbridge Center Center – Liverpool, also involves cancer researchers from Liverpool Head & Neck Centre, University Hospitals Liverpool and the University of Liverpool.

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