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Allogeneic vaccine shows promise in lung cancer


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Allogeneic vaccine shows promise in lung cancer

Reuters Health

Posting Date: August 3, 2004

Last Updated: 2004-08-03 13:04:24 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A phase I trial of a whole cell vaccine developed from an adenocarcinoma line transfected with CD80 and HLA A1 or A2 showed "minimal toxicity and good survival" in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), researchers report in the July 15th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Luis A. Raez of the University of Miami School of Medicine and colleagues note that similar vaccines have shown "good activity" in human studies but the approach has not been tested in NSCLC.

To do so, the researchers studied 19 patients with NSCLC. All had been heavily pretreated and carried large tumor burdens.

Overall 18 patients received a total of 30 courses of the vaccine.

All but one patient had a measurable immune response after 6 weeks, and responses tended to increase after 12 weeks and stabilize by 18 weeks.

Six surviving, clinically responsive patients continued to have elevated CD8 titers, even after cessation of vaccination, for up to 150 weeks.

Median survival for all patients was 18 months. Survival was estimated to be 30% at 3 years.

Now that the vaccine appears safe, Dr. Raez told Reuters Health, further studies are planned in patients who have "just had surgery for lung cancer --the chance of relapse is more than 50% despite adequate surgery -- to prevent or delay the relapse."

Another group they plan to treat is patients with stage IV disease who "finish palliative chemotherapy and respond so well" that they are placed under observation. "We will vaccinate them to delay the relapse" that may otherwise take place relatively shortly thereafter.

J Clin Oncol 2004;22:2800-2807.

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These are the guys from Yale. The video presentation is very interesting.

They are about to start a trial for NSCLC. Mom is not eligable because of her brain mets, but I'm staying in close contact with this group. I'll keep everybody posted as I find out more. Also I have heard about some dendritic work one of our docs (Dr. Chang our alternative medicine doc) is doing with Germany. I'll see him again Monday after next and get more info.

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Well if anyone can get the body to recognize a cancer cell as "non-self" then that is probably, at least hopefully, more than half the battle.

The other big problem is mutation and to figure out if there is a way to detect and stop the mutations, because a vaccine won't work well if the antigens are changing.

It is good to see that the researchers have not given up on this.

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Hi Geoff,

Dendritic cell vaccines are currently available in Germany. The info below is from a lady that is currently flying to Germany to receive treatments. I find it interesting that the German and U.S. researchers are in such close contact(I think that is good news). If you have any questions let me know.

They are contemplating a new 'joint' web site with some U.S. doctor(s) that may help some of you who have so many questions and may also lay out more clearly all the expenses involved in the treatment, the odds of success, the experiences in your own kind of cancer, etc. But this is in the future.

They are always comparing and working with other dendritic cell research groups throughout Europe, and are in contact with the U.S. groups as well. Because of the difference in philosophical approach between the German "E Commission" and the U.S. FDA, they are legally able to treat patients (for whom there is no current curative treatment) in other than a clinical trial setting. The advantage here is two fold: the patient does not need to fit a rigidly defined protocol to qualify for a specific trial AND because there is no rigid protocol, they can tailor the fine details of each treatment to each individual based on their experience with that patient's kind of cancer and disease stage.

In most cases, one can continue with one's other treatments including most alternative and complementary treatments -- but of course one must first check with them to be sure there is no problem in doing so. They, in fact, highly recommend that their patients take certain supplements/vitamins etc. to strengthen the immune systems and/or increase the effect of the dendritic cell vaccine.

Unlike many dendritic cell treatments, they can treat patients who do NOT have fresh tumor tissue although, in many (most?) cases they like to have fresh tumor tissue to use in combination with the patient's own blood. But for patients like me, who have not been able to get fresh samples of the metastatic lesions, this ability to work even without tumor lysates is a plus.

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