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HK, Australia Scientists to Start 2nd Phase Nose Cancer Therapy Clinical Test

Aug 31, 2015     Email"> PrintText Size

Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (QIMR Berghofer) of Queensland, Australia signed here Friday a Memorandum of Understanding to mark the continuous collaboration of an innovative treatment of nose cancer.

The MOU was signed by Director of QIMR Berghofer Frank Gannon and Dean of HKU's Faculty of Medicine Gabriel Leung, in the presence of Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey AC.

Scientists from the two institutions are joining forces for the second phase of a clinical trial using immunotherapy for the management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), an aggressive upper respiratory tract cancer common among people from East Asian countries. This phase will start in September, 2015 and involve 30 newly diagnosed patients with metastatic NPC from Hong Kong and Australia.

The first phase clinical trial started in 2009 involved late- stage NPC patients with the goal to test for the safety of the therapy. The results showed that patients who received the new treatment lived longer, more than 300 days on average, than those who did not undergo the therapy.

Prof. Rajiv Khanna from QIMR Berghofer's Tumour Immunology Laboratory said blood samples were taken from patients and sent to QIMR Berghofer's Brisbane laboratories, where the scientists extracted T-cells, a type of white blood cell, which were nourished in the lab and primed to attack cells infected with the virus, honing in on malignant cells while leaving normal cells intact.

According to the MOU, there will also be training conducted in Queensland to enable Hong Kong researchers to master scientific techniques of producing clinical grade killer T-cell immunotherapy. (Xinhua)


(Editor: CHEN Na)



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