This week it was hard to find any head and neck cancer news at all! Maybe everyone is enjoying the break. We did find some interesting research into why not many Kiwis participate in clinical trials, a really interesting range of services at the Mayo Clinic, and a new head and neck cancer vaccine goes to trials.

Why are so few Kiwi cancer patients in clinical trials?

Most Kiwi cancer patients are keen to take part in clinical trials, a survey shows, despite a tiny proportion actually being involved in them.

Cancer now affects one in two Kiwis - either directly, or through a friend or family member being diagnosed - and survival rates for some forms of what is New Zealand's biggest-killing disease have risen sharply over recent decades, as a result of new therapies and patients joining trials.

Despite that, participation rates in New Zealand have been traditionally low - the number in enrolled in trials was estimated to be only between 1 and 2 per cent, far below international targets.

Previous studies have put that down to a mix of factors like the personal cost involved, age, confidence in the study and a lack of trials on offer. Read more...

Head and Neck Cancer - Mayo Clinic



Transgene begins trials of head and neck cancer vaccine

Virus-based immunotherapy biotech Transgene is to begin clinical trials of its head and neck cancer drug candidate TG4050 after gaining regulatory clearance from the UK regulator.

Transgene focuses on developing virus-based immunotherapies for solid tumours and has received approval from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to begin a phase 1 trial of TG4050.

TG4050 is being developed as a potential treatment for patients with newly diagnosed, locoregionally advanced, HPV negative, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

Derived from the French biotech’s myvac platform, TG4050 has been designed to stimulate and educate the patient’s immune system to recognise and destroy tumour cells. Read more...

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