Initial results from a cancer vaccine made from Listeria monocytogenes -- a bacterium found in milk and dairy products -- appears to be able to stop the growth of cancer cells.

According to lead researcher Yvonne Paterson, professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and scientific director for Advaxis, this microorganism appears to activate the body’s own killer cells (called cytotoxic T cells) to mount a stronger immune response when cancer cells are present.

In research conducted with mice, the modified-live Listeria cancer vaccine successfully eradicated several types of rapidly growing cancers.

Although the results look promising, results will need to be duplicated, and clinical trials are about two years away. The first two cancer vaccines planned by Advaxis, a publicly traded biotechnology company, will target breast cancer and cervical cancer.

The research was reported in the September issue of the Journal of Immunology.

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PRNewswire, Advaxis