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Phase 1 trial to prevent recurrence (a different one)

Don M

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There are trials going on to train one's immune system to recognize leftover cancer cells following surgery and kill them. It involves receiving shots of vaccine derived from cancer cell material ( I think). They use recombinant dna as a vector for one shot and cold virus as a vector for another shot. I guess the idea is for this stuff to go into your body and act as practice targets for your immune system. Here are some links.

http://patient.cancerconsultants.com/lu ... x?id=31275

http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=111& ... il&ref=486

They are accepting candidates at Swedish Hospital which is not too far from where I live, but I think I will stick with my selenium. I am curious as to whether any of you would consider applying for this trial.

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You are welcome Paula.

If I had a tumor that grew a cm in a month before surgery I think I would try everything too. My tumor stayed the same size in the month I had to wait for my surgery. My surgeon remarked that I had "a well behaved tumor" so I am going to rely on a surgical cure without chemo except that I do take selenium and other supplements to ehance my immune system. I did not want to do chemo. It is kind of a crap shoot, but I expect that I won't have a recurrence. It has been almost a year now since my surgery and I am still cancer free.

There are other places besides Swedish doing this trial across the country, but I can't remember where. you could find them if you browse around a bit. I hope you nail the beast and have NO RECURRENCE.

Don M

PS I will cut and paste an email I had with Swedish contact person. Maybe it will help you get in touch with them.

Here is the email address I used to contact. A different person responded, but her phone number is as the bottom of the email.


From Jill Cooper reply follows:

Mr. Miniken:

It sounds as if you might be eligible for this study, but I certainly understand your hesitation about the frequency of visits and "injecting cancer cells" into your body.

To address the visit issue, to participate you would need to come in for a screening visit, every two weeks x 5, three weeks after that, and then every 6 months for lab work and evaluation along with the injections.

To address the second issue, this is not a vaccine made from tumor cells. It is made by connecting a gene that recognizes a protein that exists in cancer cells to a vector. In the case of the first two of the series of vaccines it is attached to a plasmid vector. The second two vaccines are attached to an adenovirus vector. These vectors "show" the gene with the protein recognizer to your own immune system to try to teach your T cells to recognize the protein and kill it.

As far as your question about whether it works, this is a Phase I study, meaning this is its first trial with human beings. In mouse and monkey models the vaccinations have proven to be effective, and the in vitro studies have shown sensitization of the T cells to the tumor protein.

We are currently enrolling in Cohort 3 for the study; this means that in the first two cohorts patients tolerated the dose of vaccine without any problem. This is the last cohort, and thus the highest dose planned by the study team. It is too soon to tell about efficacy with human beings, and even if I knew that information for this study I couldn't tell you. Other companies have been having success with vaccine-type studies for lung cancer, and there is excitement in the medical community about these types of approaches in general.

I hope this answers your questions. If you decide you have interest in participating in this study please let me know. We would be happy to have you as a patient and begin the screening process.


Jill Cooper RN BSN BS

Clinical Research Nurse

Swedish Cancer Institute


It is interesting to note that it has been nearly a year since I had surgery and they still consider me a candidate.

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