Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at a technique that uses your own white blood cells to treat your cancer
This trial was looking at a way of encouraging your own white blood cells to attack cancer cells in your body. It was for people who had any of the following conditions that could not be treated with other
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
- Any other cancer that was known to carry a virus called Epstein Barr (EBV)
- A condition called post transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) that is caused by the Epstein Barr virus
- Prostate Cancer
The researchers were trying to develop a new technique that involved using some of your own white blood cells called T cells. T cells are part of the immune system. The researchers removed some T cells from your blood and then in the laboratory tried to grow T cells that would attack your cancer cells.
The aim of this study was to see if they could safely give back the treated T cells and if they boosted the immune system.
Summary of results
The study team were able to grow such T cells in the laboratory from 16 out of 27 patients and they successfully gave treated cells back to 6 of them. The other patients did not receive their cells because they were not well enough. Patients received up to 3 doses of T cells and none of them had any serious side effects.
By looking at blood samples, the researchers could see that the treated cells stayed in the circulation for up to 2 weeks. In one person, they could still detect the treated T cells a few months later.
In this study, cancer did not respond to this type of treatment, but the researchers are continuing to study this in the laboratory. They hope they may be able to test this technique in people again in the future.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Steven Lee
Dr Neil Steven