Personalized tumor vaccine shows promise in pilot trial
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PHILADELPHIA – A new type of cancer vaccine has yielded promising results in an initial clinical trial conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The personalized vaccine is made from patients’ own immune cells, which are exposed in the laboratory to the contents of the patients’ tumor cells, and then injected into the patients to initiate a wider immune response. The trial, conducted in advanced ovarian cancer patients, was a pilot trial aimed primarily at determining safety and feasibility, but there were clear signs that it could be effective: About half of the vaccinated patients showed signs of anti-tumor T-cell responses, and those “responders” tended to live much longer without tumor progression than those who didn’t respond. One patient, after two years of vaccinations, was disease-free for another five years without further treatment. The study is published today in Science Translational Medicine.

“This vaccine appears to be safe for patients, and elicits a broad anti-tumor immunity–we think it warrants further testing in larger clinical trials,” said study lead author Janos L. Tanyi, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Penn Medicine.

The study was led

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