Navigation Links
Cancer vaccine combination therapy shows survival benefit in breast cancer
Date:5/15/2012

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) A vaccine that targets cancer cells in combination with the drug letrozole, a standard hormonal therapy against breast cancer, significantly increased survival when tested in mice, a team of UC Davis investigators has found.

The findings will be published today in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

"We found that the vaccine and the hormonal drug letrozole were more effective when given together," said Michael DeGregorio, UC Davis professor of hematology and oncology and principal investigator of the study. "This adds critical evidence that immunotherapy with vaccines, which has traditionally been used to prevent infectious diseases, is also a promising new approach to combating cancer."

The vaccine, known as L-BLP25 (Stimuvax), specifically targets Mucin1 glycoprotein (MUC1), an antigen that is expressed in an altered form on cancer cells. When introduced into the body, the vaccine generates an immune response by T-lymphocytes, which then recognize and destroy the tumor cells. Mice in the study were injected weekly with the vaccine -- or a placebo -- for eight weeks.

In addition to the vaccine or placebo, some mice were treated with either letrozole or tamoxifen, commonly used hormonal therapies against breast cancer. Both drugs work by blocking the effects of estrogen, which can slow or stop the growth of some types of breast cancer cells that need the hormone to grow. Although the drugs have similar actions, the benefits of the vaccine were greatest in the mice treated with letrozole; in contrast, vaccinated mice given tamoxifen actually fared worse than those given either the vaccine or tamoxifen alone.

"Hormonal drugs affect the immune system in different ways, and apparently the actions of tamoxifen prevent the vaccine from working effectively," said DeGregorio. "This highlights the importance of rigorous testing of different combinations of therapies before using them in patients."

The article, available online, is titled "L-BLP25 vaccine plus letrozole induces a TH1 immune response and has additive antitumor activity in MUC-1 expressing mammary tumors in mice."

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States, following lung cancer. Most cases of breast cancer are "estrogen-dependent" and respond to hormonal therapy. For tumors that are independent of hormonal influence, treatment options are limited and would especially benefit from a new treatment strategy such as a vaccine.

The vaccine was found to work best when the tumor burden -- the amount of cancer present -- was low, indicating that the vaccine may one day be best used as a preventative measure for women at high risk of developing breast cancer or for treatment of early disease.

Vaccine therapy is a promising new cancer-fighting strategy; the first therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010. Trials with L-BLP25 vaccine are currently under way for lung and pancreatic cancers, whose cells also express altered MUC1, the same tumor-associated antigen found on breast cancer cells. The current study is the first known to the authors to demonstrate that a hormonal therapy combined with a vaccine provides additive antitumor activity and survival benefit.

"This was a true alliance between academics and industry," added DeGregorio, who noted that trials such as this one are especially expensive because of the number of mice needed and the length of time -- about three and a half years -- required to establish their findings. The study had support from the pharmaceutical company, Merck KGaA Darmstadt Germany.

DeGregorio's group will further test the vaccine with other conventional therapies and determine optimal dosing. Clinical trials in patients with breast cancer are in the planning stages.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dorsey Griffith
dorsey.griffith@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9118
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study highlights need for coordination of care in stage 2 and 3 rectal cancer treatment
2. John Theurer Cancer Center hosting 8th Annual Neuro-Oncology Symposium
3. Study examines BI-RADS and MRI in predicting breast cancer
4. Early biomarker for pancreatic cancer identified
5. Fertilizing bone marrow helps answer why some cancers spread to bones
6. Genetic test identifies eye cancer tumors likely to spread
7. Scientists make breakthrough in bile duct cancer with discovery of new gene mutations
8. Drug kills cancer cells by restoring faulty tumor suppressor
9. Mayo Clinic researchers discover biomarkers for prostate cancer detection, recurrence
10. Common Blood Pressure Drugs May Not Cut Colon Cancer Risk
11. Blood pressure drugs dont protect against colorectal cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American ... Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. ... including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and ... women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... SYDNEY , June 26, 2016 One of ... , has announced the formation of a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm ... raise $6m in an IPO and to list on the ASX. ... drug candidate, NOX66, ready to enter a Phase 1 clinical study ... been designed to address one of the biggest problems facing cancer ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as ... Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) ... Daylight Time). As previously announced on May ... definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab ... Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to build ... Company,s stock which is currently listed on the OTC ... Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an ... difficult to understand, not only by the Company, but ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: