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New Vaccines/NSCLC/May Lower Costs/Accelerate Treatment


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PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA - In one to three years, new therapeutic vaccines could change standard treatment regimens for the most commonly diagnosed lung cancer-non-small cell lung cancer. Therapeutic cancer vaccines (TCVs), currently in late-phase clinical trials, may be introduced as adjuvant therapy that reduces undesirable side effects caused by toxic radiation and chemotherapy, according to a recent Health Technology Forecast released by ECRI Institute® (www.ecri.org), an independent, nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care.

The vaccines, which could be considered "personalized medicine", are designed to stimulate the body's natural defenses against cancer. By attacking proteins and molecules associated with cancer development, TCVs have the potential to shrink tumors and slow their growth.

ECRI Institute reviewed preliminary results from ongoing trials released by four vaccine manufacturers in its report, "Therapeutic Vaccines for Lung Cancer". If those preliminary results are upheld in ongoing phase III trials and eventually result in approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ECRI Institute researchers anticipate that TCVs will be widely implemented into lung cancer treatment programs.

"The current vaccines may only be successful in a select number of cancer cases," says Randall Hulshizer, M.S., lead author of the ECRI Institute report. "But we expect that future advances in therapeutic cancer vaccines may increase life quality and expectancy for lung cancer patients and could decrease the overall cost of treatment by reducing side effects and amount of chemotherapy or radiation needed."

ECRI Institute's evidence reports, forecasts, and guidance are researched and written by a multidisciplinary staff of 300 full-time doctoral-level scientists, clinicians, technologists, medical librarians, and other health care professionals, which includes Evidence-based Practice Center staff. Forecasts, technology assessments, and comparative-effectiveness reviews evaluate technologies along the continuum from innovation to wide diffusion into practice.

ECRI Institute has a rich history of providing assessments to hospitals, health systems, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other federal agencies, as well as ministries of health and hospitals worldwide. To maintain objectivity in its research and publications, ECRI Institute requires all its employees to adhere to strict conflict-of-interest policies that keep employees at arm's length from medical product/pharmaceutical/biotechnology manufacturers and health plans.

For more information about Therapeutic Vaccines for Lung Cancer or ECRI Institute's Health Technology Assessment Information Service™, visit www.ecri.org/htais.

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(dotmed.com, Plymouth Meeting, PA., August 11, 2009)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not being posted with the intention of being medical advice of any kind.

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