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Cancer vaccine impact limited unless drug industry focuses on difficult-to-treat tumors
Date:11/21/2011

r survival is lower than average and the number of patients newly diagnosed each year is higher than average.

"Fortunately for patients, there are already some late-stage clinical trials in progress for patients with cancers of the lung and pancreas," Davis says. "Based on the typical time course for trials and licensure, if these vaccines are safe and effective, we may able to use them to help patients as early as 2020 and perhaps earlier."

The cancers with the highest number of active clinical trials worldwide in 2011 are melanoma (40), breast (34), lung (30), prostate (22), and brain (20).

The five cancers with the highest five-year mortality (estimated by the authors, based on current U.S. data) are lung (186,000), pancreas (40,000), colon (35,000), breast (21,000) and liver and bile duct (21,000), for a total of 303,000 deaths. There are currently 90 therapeutic vaccines in development against these 5 types of cancer.

In contrast, the five cancers with the most active development (146 vaccines in aggregate) target cancers with a lower five-year mortality of approximately 226,000. "This mismatch is unfortunate for patients," says Davis. "Cancers with higher mortality currently have fewer vaccines in development. For therapeutic vaccines to make the biggest difference in cancer care, development must focus more on high-mortality tumors."


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Contact: Lauren McLeod
lemcleod@med.umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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