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Immunotherapy. 2009 Nov;1(6):933-47. doi: 10.2217/imt.09.62.

Potential for immunotherapy with heat-killed Mycobacterium vaccae in respiratory medicine.

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Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health, Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London, 46 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JF, UK.


Immunotherapy with Mycobacterium vaccae has been shown to be beneficial as part of the treatment for a wide range of diseases. In the respiratory system, the late airway response in bronchial asthma is modified by a single dose and bronchial aspects of hayfever are reduced allowing a major reduction in the use of bronchial dilators. In studies of advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung survival is increased by an average of 4 months when up to five doses of M. vaccae are added to the course of chemotherapy. The quality of life of cancer patients receiving immunotherapy with M. vaccae is improved, even if survival is not increased. It is suggested that the mechanism of action of immunotherapy with heat-killed, borate-buffered M. vaccae is likely to be very similar in all these diseases for which human pulmonary tuberculosis provides a model. In this study, additional immunological data are reported from material stored from an earlier study of immunotherapy for pulmonary tuberculosis to help complete the information on the way that treatment with three monthly injections of heat-killed, borate-buffered M. vaccae (SRL172) may act.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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