A cancer patient has been successfully treated by having her immune system boosted with a vaccine made from her tumour.
Cathryn Nosrati, 42, from Verwood, in south-west England, is clear of the disease six months after having the vaccine made from the DNA of lymphoma cells.
The vaccine took 10 years to develop and Ms Nosrati was the first person in the world to receive it. Scientists believe that in five years it should also be able to tackle cancer of the breast, prostate, ovary and colon.
DNA from the tumour cells was removed and put alongside DNA from tetanus toxin, which "alarms" the immune system to form the vaccine. Ms Nosrati was injected every second week for 12 weeks at Royal Bournemouth Hospital. She had previously been undergoing chemotherapy.
The vaccine works by activating the immune system, seeking and destroying cancer cells left over from chemotherapy, which normally lead to relapse. The immune system recognises the tetanus as a poison and acts to destroy it, while attacking cancer cells.
Professor Terry Hamblin, who led the research backed by a cancer charity ,Tenovus, said tests showed Ms Nosrati had produced an immune response and was clear of cancer. She would be re-tested in 18 months.
- The Sunday Telegraph, London