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Novel cancer vaccines

Novel cancer vaccines

Dr. Stephen Butler, together with Professor Ray Iles, made the fascinating discovery that many cancer cells secreted a variant of the human pregnancy hormone, chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), which bizarrely acted as a growth promoter for the very cells that produced it – we call it an autocrine growth promoter. As might be expected, antibody raised by vaccination with hCG neutralised the growth-promoting properties of this factor.  Professor Roitt & Dr. Lund and their colleagues, while at U.C.L., constructed a mutant of hCG which not only produced more effected antibodies than the native protein, but also essentially eliminated one of the undesirable side-effects which was to cross-react with another important hormone, luteinizing hormone.

We now wish to develop an exciting, new, potentially very high effective vaccine platform to improve the ability of the hCG mutant to generate an excellent antibody response.  Together with Midatech Ltd., a company with expertise in the production of minute gold nanoparticles (see also Project 3) we intend to attach these particles coated with agents essential for boosting the antibody response to the hCG.


    1)   To produce a novel highly effective vaccine platform to generate cancer growth inhibiting  antibodies.
    2)   To arrange Clinical Trials of the vaccine in patients with bladder cancer.
    3)   To show that the platform may produce effective vaccines for another hormone,
       gonadotrophin- releasing hormone (GnRH), important for controlling prostate cancer and
       may provide a more general vaccine formulation.

Project team

Dr. S. Butler
Lead role

Prof. I.M. Roitt Scientific support

Ph.D. student Antibody analysis

Prof. N. Porakishvili Mutant production (Westminster Uni.)
Vaccine testing (Georgia, Tbilisi)

Midatech Ltd. Nanoparticle production

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