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Personalized vaccine for lymphoma patients extends disease-free survival by nearly 2 years
Date:12/6/2010

IgG or IgM isotype. Only the tumor cells not healthy cells carry the idiotype protein, making it an ideal anti-tumor vaccine target. Researchers have used a variety of techniques to manufacture idiotype vaccines. To generate the vaccines used in their trial, Schuster and his colleagues fused the complete idiotype-isotype protein from each patient's tumor cells to a carrier called keyhole limpet hemocyanin protein, which helps attract the attention of immune system. The team used the carrier protein alone as a placebo vaccine.

In the current study, individuals who responded to initial chemotherapy and remained in remission for at least six months were eligible to continue in the trial, and received either a personalized idiotype vaccine plus an immune-stimulating agent called GM-CSF, or placebo vaccine plus GM-CSF. When researchers analyzed the patients who received at least one dose of personalized vaccine, they saw a 14-month improvement in disease-free survival, compared to those who received the placebo. The 76 patients treated with the vaccine had a median disease-free survival of 44.2 months, compared to 30.6 months for the 41 patients treated with the placebo. (The trial was designed so that two patients would receive the vaccine treatment for every one who received the placebo.)

Following a hunch and some earlier observations in the literature, Schuster and co-workers decided to reanalyze the data after dividing the patients based upon the type of isotype protein on their tumor cells' surface. He found that patients whose tumors had an IgM-idiotype protein had a robust response to the vaccine, with an increase in median disease-free survival from 28.7 months in placebo-treated patients to 52.9 months in vaccine-treated patients. By contrast, the impact of the vaccine on patients whose idiotype protein was part of an IgG-type antibody was negligible, with a non-significant increase from 32.4 months to 35.1 months.

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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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