“I think it’s essential that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”
A trial of TroVax vaccine for bowel cancer (TV1)
This trial was looking at a vaccine called TroVax to see if it could help the immune system to recognise cancer cells. The trial was for people with bowel cancer that had spread to other parts of the body (metastatic bowel cancer).
The immune system plays an important part in our defence against disease by finding and killing foreign cells, such as bacteria or viruses. One problem is that cancer cells are very similar to normal cells. So the immune system fails to spot them.
In this trial, the researchers were looking at a vaccine called TroVax to see if it could alert the immune system to a protein found on the surface of bowel cancer cells. The idea was that the immune system would then recognise the cancer cells and attack them.
The aims of the trial were to see if
- TroVax caused an
- There were any side effects
Summary of results
The results of the trial showed that TroVax can cause an immune response without too many side effects.
The trial recruited 22 people with bowel cancer that had spread. Everybody had 3 injections of TroVax. If they responded to the vaccine, some people had 2 more injections a few weeks later.
- 16 people had the injections into a muscle
- 6 people had the injections into the skin
The researchers looked at 4 different doses of the vaccine and had results for 17 people
- 16 people had an immune response after the vaccine
- In 5 people, the cancer stopped growing for a period time after the vaccine – researchers call this
- The most common side effect was redness at the site of the injection
The researchers found that TroVax was safe to use at all 4 doses they tested. They suggested that as TroVax caused an immune response in most people taking part, it should be studied in clinical trials for other cancers.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Robert Hawkins