Caner Vaccine Institute

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Research Projects

One of the ways in which we are really unique is that we can direct our research interests so specifically. Each and every one of our scientists works on a research project which is informed in some way by Professor Dalgleish’s interests and the treatment he gives patients. Cancer patients are his inspiration, and the reason the ICVI exists.

It costs the ICVI around £400 each hour to keep our current research team working on their projects. If you would like to donate to this amount please click here.

Here are some of our current research projects, as well as past successes. These are written for the layman. If you would like more information, please email us and we will send it to you.

Effect of Chemotherapy

The Effect of Chemotherapy Drugs on Immune Cells in Culture

A number of recent studies suggest that some forms of chemotherapy are able to promote immune function. The CVI previously funded Dr Wai to do research in this area. His results, which were published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2010, demonstrated that the chemotherapy drugs Gemcitabine and Oxaliplatin, when used in sub-optimal (i.e. relatively non-toxic) doses, induce changes in tumour cells that are likely to alter the way that they are seen by the immune system. Gemcitabine is a drug which is currently used for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. It has also been shown to improve responses to cancer vaccines in an experimental setting suggesting that the drug alters immune responses in some way. For this reason we are continuing the work initiated by Dr Liu to look in more detail at the changes in tumour cells caused by Gemcitabine. The data is still preliminary but it appears that Gemcitabine alters different aspects of tumour biology. These alterations are very likely to skew how the immune system recognises tumours, but we need to collect more data to prove this. Ultimately it is hoped that understanding how Gemcitabine alters tumours will lead to its use in combination with vaccines.

Prostate Cancer Trial

A double blind, randomized controlled trial of Mycobacterium obuense (IMM-101) versus placebo in men with localized prostate cancer managed with active surveillance.

Scope and purpose

Active surveillance is an increasingly popular alternative to immediate radical treatment for men with clinically localized, low-risk prostate cancer. Disease progression inevitably occurs in a proportion of such men. Mycobacterial preparations have demonstrated anti-tumour properties in experimental models and the purpose of this trial will be to determine whether Mycobacterium obuense (IMM-101) vaccination could delay disease progression in the active surveillance setting.


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