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Here is something I found on another vaccine study:

Cancer vaccine induces integrated immune response, novel monitoring shows

Karla Gale

Reuters Health

Posting Date: February 20, 2004

Last Updated: 2004-02-20 12:13:21 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Using a new technique to monitor antibody levels as well as CD8+ T cells and CD4+ T cells, researchers in New York have demonstrated that a therapeutic cancer vaccine elicits a fully integrated immune response in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Their research is published in the March 1st issue of the Journal of Immunology.

"The Cancer Vaccine Collaborative hopes to standardize approaches to evaluating immune responses," senior author Dr. Sacha Gnjatic told Reuters Health. By focusing on the strength of the immune response, "we will be able to proceed more quickly into vaccine development of new antigenic constructs."

This approach contrasts to many vaccine trials currently underway, he added, "which have looked primarily at clinical effects without focusing necessarily on immune response to particular antigens."

Dr. Gnjatic, at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and other members of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative conducted a phase I trial of a vaccine containing MAGE-3 protein, which is expressed in testicular germ cells and many tumors, but not in normal tissue.

Following surgical resection of non-small-cell lung tumors, 19 patients underwent immunization with MAGE-3, four times at 3-week intervals. Eight were treated with MAGE-3 in combination with an adjuvant. Immune responses tended to be stronger in those treated with adjuvant.

In the latter group, seven showed a marked increase in serum concentrations of anti-MAGE-3, reaching maximum levels at day 85, the end of the observation period. Four achieved marked increases in CD4+ T cell responses against a MAGE-3 epitope, producing Th1 type cytokines but not Th2 type. Peptide-specific CD8+ T cell responses were observed in two patients.

According to Dr. Gnjatic, activating all three components of the immune response "in our opinion would make an effective vaccine." He explained that activated CD4+ T cells are important for initiating, amplifying, and maintaining CD8+ T cell responses.

The challenge up until now has been measuring peptide-specific CD4+ responses against normally high background levels. They overcame this obstacle by using a modified ELISPOT assay based on cytokine secretion.

"The data presented in this work lay the grounds for the design of vaccine constructs and immunization protocols to define conditions for maximal immunogenicity," the authors conclude. The end result will be to "answer the most important question in tumor immunology: can immunization affect the course of human cancer?"

J Immunol 2004;

Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


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Experimental Lung Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise

Scientists have developed an experimental vaccine that could be used to block the progress of lung cancer. A small study suggests it could delay the recurrence of tumors in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, the most common form of the cancer.

Doctors called the research, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, encouraging. Currently, treatment options for patients with this type of lung cancer are limited.

Scientists from the University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, who carried out the study, said this was the first time a vaccine had been shown to be effective against this type of cancer, according to a BBC report.

The researchers followed 43 patients -- 10 who had early-stage cancer and 33 who had advanced stage cancer. Surgeons removed their tumors and the patients were then injected with a vaccine that included cells from their tumor and a gene called CM-CSF, which changed the surface of the cells to help the body identify them as cancerous. The body's immune cells then began to recognize, attack and destroy the cancer cells in the lungs.

The patients were given an injection of the GVAX vaccine every two weeks for three months. A small number of patients were still free of cancer three years after they were vaccinated. In others, the vaccine appeared to delay the recurrence of cancer for several months.

The research, which was designed to look at the vaccine's safety, was funded in part by Cell Genesys, a pharmaceutical company that hopes to produce it.


Copyright © 2004 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last Updated: February 21, 2004

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