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Therapeutic melanoma vaccine improves response rate, progression-free survival
Date:6/2/2011

1.6 months respectively in those that did not. The study was not powered to look at overall survival, but for those receiving the vaccine, it trended positive, 17.8 months vs. 11.1 months.

"This is one of the first positive randomized vaccine trials in cancer and the findings represent a significant step forward for treatment of advanced melanoma," said Schwartzentruber. "However, the vaccine only can be given to half of those with melanoma because it has to match a patient's tissue type, or HLA. A major priority for us is to figure out ways to broaden our approach and use mixtures of peptides, for example, so that more patients are eligible."

The researchers would like to improve upon it by including other immune-stimulatory agents, such as newer vaccine adjuvants, other cytokines and antibodies that further activate immune cells.

"This is a very exciting time for the field of melanoma. During the last few years, the entire landscape has changed with the addition of targeted therapies such as those that target BRAF as well as those that stimulate the immune system. Still, these drugs work in a small number of patients, and/or resistance often develops," said Hwu. "Now, our focus will need to turn toward studying these novel therapies in combination and continue our quest for better vaccines, as well as researching ways to make the study inclusive of more metastatic melanoma patients."


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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
832-264-8893
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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