A team of researchers has completed human tests of the first plant-produced vaccine for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The successful linkurl:results;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0803636105 of a phase I clinical trial suggest that plants could provide a safe, inexpensive reservoir to "grow" vaccines for the common human cancer, according to a study published tomorrow (July 22) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The trial "builds upon all the advances in immunology that have come out in the last half-dozen years," said linkurl:Charles Arntzen,;http://sols.asu.edu/faculty/carntzen.php co-director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at Arizona State University and editor of the paper. The vaccine has a "real opportunity for commercial success," he said. Follicular B-cell lymphoma is a cancer of malignant B-cells in the immune system affecting more than 16,000 people each year. "Every tumor starts from one cell," said linkurl:Ronald Levy,;http://med.stanford.edu/labs/ronald_levy/ a Stanford University oncologist and senior author on the paper. That cell,...
Correction (posted July 24): In a previous version of the story, "plant-derived antigens" were incorrectly referred to as "plant-derived antibodies". The Scientist regrets the error.

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!