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Possible vaccine for mesothelioma proven safe
Date:3/4/2010

inding. After recruiting 10 human patients recently diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma of the epithelial subtype, they cultured immature DC from their blood and exposed the DC to the antigen produced by the patients' tumors. The DC were also exposed to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), which was used as a surrogate marker to show an immune response. The DC were then matured and injected back into the patients in three doses over a two-week interval.

Serum samples from all patients showed a significant increase of pre- versus post-vaccine antibodies to KLH. In the four patients whose tumor material was sufficient for testing, there was clear induction of cytotoxicity against their own tumors after vaccination. Three patients showed signs of tumor regression, though this could not be conclusively or directly attributed to the vaccine.

Encouragingly, while eight of the patients developed flu-like symptoms in response to the vaccinations, the symptoms normalized after one day in all but one of the patients. There were no signs of autoimmune diseases in the patients provoked by the vaccination, nor other serious side effects.

"The major problem in mesothelioma is that the immunosuppressive environment caused by the tumor will negatively influence our therapy so we are now working on a method to lower this immunosuppressive environment," said Dr. Aerts. "We hope that by further development of our method it will be possible to increase survival in patients with mesothelioma and eventually vaccinate persons who have been in contact with asbestos to prevent them from getting asbestos related diseases."


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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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