A new drug that strips cancer cells of their "invisibility cloak" is being tested on patients with head and neck cancer.

It is hoped that the drug, AMG319, can disable a tumour's defence shield, so that the body's immune system detects it and launches an attack.

This kind of cancer treatment is known as immunotherapy and is attracting much attention in cancer research. Studies on mice have shown AMG319 stimulates the immune system to fight cancer cells.

Now, researchers at Southampton General Hospital, Poole Hospital and the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Cheshire in the UK are starting a trial in 54 head and neck cancer patients.

Advertisement

The participants will receive the drug or a placebo daily and be monitored with blood tests and MRI scans.

- Daily Mail