Thousands of patients in England will be fast-tracked into trials of personalized cancer vaccines tailored to their tumors. Under the scheme, the first of its kind in the world, eligible patients who agree to have a blood test and sample of their cancer tissue analysed will gain immediate access to clinical trials. The NHS has enrolled dozens of patients on to the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad, with thousands more to be enlisted at 30 NHS sites across England. The first trials are expected to focus on colorectal, skin, lung, bladder, pancreatic and kidney cancer. “As more of these trials get up and running at hospitals across the country, our national matchmaking service will ensure as many eligible patients as possible get the opportunity to access them,” said Amanda Pritchard, head of NHS England. The first NHS patient to join the Cancer Vaccine Launch Pad is Elliot Pfebve,a 55-year-old lecturer at Coventry University who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer after a routine health check. He had surgery to remove his tumour and 30cm of his large intestine, followed by chemotherapy, then then received his personalized cancer vaccine at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS foundation trust. “Having been through the difficulty of diagnosis and debilitating chemotherapy, it felt wonderful to be able to take part in something which could lead to a new way of treating cancer, and if others can benefit from what the trial might discover, then that’s great, too.”

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