Scientists have found a way of producing a potent cancer vaccine which could be manufactured from a patient’s own cancer cells and used to treat their tumour.
The technique involves the use of ultra-violet light to trigger the vaccine in a process known as photo-dynamic therapy (PDT). Tests on mice have shown that the technique produced a personalised vaccine with the same power as one grown in the laboratory, but in much less time.
The research was carried out by scientists at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, who were seeking new applications of PDT.
The technique uses ultraviolet light to trigger drugs when they reach their target, which means larger doses can be given without fear of toxic reactions in other parts of the body.