Cancer Prevention: Scientists Developing World’s First Lung Cancer Vaccine

Cancer Prevention: Scientists Developing World’s First Lung Cancer Vaccine

A significant step towards preventing lung cancer has been taken with the development of a new vaccine called “LungVax.” Researchers at the University of Oxford, the Francis Crick Institute, and University College London have received £1.7 million in funding from Cancer Research UK and the CRIS Cancer Foundation to develop and test the innovative vaccine.

LungVax will leverage similar technology as the successful Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is designed to train the immune system to identify and destroy lung cancer cells by targeting “red flag” proteins called neoantigens, often present in early-stage lung cancer.

“This is potentially a game-changer in the fight against lung cancer,” says Professor Tim Elliot, Kidani Professor of Immuno-oncology at the University of Oxford and research lead on the LungVax project. “By harnessing the immune system, we could save tens of thousands of lives every year.”

The initial stages of development will include laboratory research and the manufacturing of 3,000 doses. If successful, LungVax will move to a clinical trial, ultimately aiming for potential use in high-risk groups, including current and former smokers.

Cancer Prevention: Scientists Developing World's First Lung Cancer VaccineLung Cancer in the UK:

  • Around 48,500 cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year.
  • Smoking is responsible for 72% of lung cancer cases.

Lung Cancer Globally:

  • Over 2.2 million new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year worldwide. (Source: World Cancer Research Fund International)
  • Approximately 80-90% of these cases are directly linked to smoking. This includes exposure to secondhand smoke. (Sources: CDC, WHO)


  • These percentages highlight smoking as the primary risk factor for lung cancer. However, other factors can contribute to its development, including:
    • Exposure to radon gas
    • Air pollution
    • Occupational hazards (like asbestos)
    • Family history of lung cancer

With this significant funding, the development of LungVax could herald a new era in lung cancer prevention, offering hope alongside existing quit-smoking campaigns and early detection programs.

European trends News

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