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Mayo Clinic/ ASU Cancer Vaccine Research!!


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I had to copy this in its' entirety - this news is far too important!! :D:D:D I literally started crying when I read this!!

Yours in HOPE!!!


From the E.V. Tribune: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/84362

Mayo Clinic team in hunt for cancer vaccine

Lindsay Butler, Tribune

For years, the scientific community battled cancer through treatment — after diagnosis. Now, a team of Valley researchers is turning that concept on its head. Mac 5, a collaboration between Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic, has begun work on a project that has thus far been unduplicated elsewhere in the world.

The goal: a vaccine that could stop cancer before it starts. “It boils down to this,” said Dr. Stephen Johnston, director of the Center for Innovations in Medicine at ASU. “The therapeutic vaccine has largely been a failure so it has a bad rap. And giving a vaccine as a prophylactic is not generally thought of.”

The project is high risk, and many senior scientists won’t touch it, Johnston said. Then there are those who see the “big picture,” and what a huge impact a cancer vaccine could have.

“If it’s successful, it will be very good,” Johnston said. “No one has convinced me yet it’s a bad idea.”

Mac 5 was created about a year ago. The name stands for the Mayo Clinic/ASU Center for Cancer-related Convergence, Cooperation and Collaboration. The cancer vaccine is the group’s fi rst project and brings together people from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Scottsdale and the ASU Biodesign Institute in Tempe.

Eventually, personnel from both centers will work together in a lab at the Mayo site.

Johnston said they need to buy some equipment but should be moving in about two months.

Although the group is very enthusiastic, finding a way to prevent cancer in everyone isn’t easy.

“It’s thought that every tumor is personal, and that there won’t be something in common between two people,” said Kimberly Ovitt, communications director at the Biodesign Institute.

But early tests show indications that there may be a commonality, Johnston said.

As they begin the research, the group will focus on four types of cancer: lung, breast, prostate and colon.

They will use 20 samples from cancer patients and analyze them in the lab, looking for a signature on the earliest number of cells.

If all goes well, a vaccine would be ready for clinical trial in about four years.

“That’s the big kahuna,” Johnston said.

There has never been so much new technology and insight into the battle against cancer — much of which came from the Human Genome Project, which mapped human genes, said Laurence Miller, director of research at the Mayo Clinic.

“We now are able to characterize large numbers of genes and gene products and proteins so we can understand those that are different in a cancer cell from a healthy cell,” he said.

Because no one has tried this approach before, it will take a while for the project to garner traditional sources of funding, Ovitt said.

Until then, it will be supported by the state, ASU and the Mayo Clinic.

“The benefits of working with the Mayo Clinic is one. It’s the powerhouse in the area. And two, it’s great to have somebody very close to interact with,” Johnston said.

And that kind of collaboration is unheard of.

“We’re doing something different here in Arizona,” Ovitt said.

Johnston, who came here 18 months ago from Southwestern University, even was able to recruit Doug Lake, an associate professor at the Biodesign Institute, from an institution not generally known for cooperating with ASU: the University of Arizona.

“I still have boot marks on my rear end from when the ASU moving van pulled up,” Lake said. Word about the project is quickly getting out, and Johnston said they are receiving more applicants who want in. “That’s why I came here — to take some risks,” Johnston said. “Somebody ought to try it.”

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