Navigation Links
Vaccine to Treat Breast, Ovarian Cancers Shows Promise

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine that coaxes the body to attack tumor cells has shown promise in a small study of advanced breast and ovarian cancer patients, improving overall survival times and stopping the disease for a handful of breast cancer patients.

The PANVAC vaccine, administered to 26 women through monthly shots, helped the body's immune system recognize proteins produced specifically by cancer cells, said study author Dr. James Gulley, director and deputy chief of the clinical trials group at the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

All of the women had breast or ovarian cancer that had spread to other organs and were considered "heavily pre-treated" with other therapies, with 21 having received at least three chemotherapy regimens. In addition to the four breast cancer patients whose disease stopped progressing, one woman with breast cancer experienced a "complete response," meaning her cancer disappeared.

The study is published Nov. 8 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

"Anytime we have one type of biologic treatment demonstrate some success, it's exciting," said Dr. Elizabeth Poynor, a gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in the study. "No matter how small the study is -- and early studies will be small -- when we have positive results on a particular technique, it's a very hopeful thing. These are our most difficult patients to treat; they have failed multiple therapies."

Indeed, most participants -- whose average age was 57 -- had exhausted other forms of treatment, Gulley said, which likely hampered their immune systems from responding as fully to the vaccine as they otherwise might have. As therapeutic vaccines become more established, Gulley said they might prove even more effective in patients whose disease is less advanced.

"That's exactly what I'd like to eventually see -- the vaccine used earlier in the disease process before other [toxic drugs] that can damage the immune system," he said. "I think it makes more sense, when the immune system is more likely to overcome a lower tumor burden. Until recently we haven't seen a lot of substantial clinical impact of vaccines . . . I think this gives us a better level of confidence."

Among the 12 study participants with breast cancer, the median time before the disease continued to progress was 2.5 months and the median overall survival was 13.7 months. For the 14 patients with ovarian cancer, the median time to progression was two months and the median overall survival was 15 months.

Side effects from the vaccine were exceedingly mild, with minor injection-site reactions the most common problem reported.

The PANVAC vaccine, containing certain genes that encourage the immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells, was previously studied in 70 patients with advanced colorectal cancer, Gulley said. While the time before disease progression was similar between patients who did and did not receive the vaccine, the overall survival time in the vaccine group was "strikingly better," he noted.

"This is an exciting step forward," said Dr. David Fishman, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "The ultimate goal would be to identify unique proteins in an individual patient's cancer and use vaccines unique to that patient."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more information on cancer vaccines.

SOURCES: James L. Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., director, clinical trials group, deputy chief, Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Elizabeth Poynor, M.D, gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; David Fishman, M.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; Nov. 8, 2011, Clinical Cancer Research

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Vaccine May Prevent TB in People With HIV
2. Vaccine Not Fail-Safe in Ongoing Mumps Outbreak
3. New strategy produces promising advance in cancer vaccines
4. Screens, Vaccine for HPV Less Beneficial in Older Women
5. New Technology Could Widen Reach of Vaccines
6. Texas-based consortium announces groundbreaking vaccine research program
7. The Coalition for Vaccine Safety Calls for Congressional Hearings on Federal Agencies Failure to Provide Adequate Safety Research
8. Possible vaccine for mesothelioma proven safe
9. Groundbreaking research to find vaccine for hepatitis C
10. Vaccine for Asbestos-Related Cancer Looks Safe
11. CDC Awards Abt Associates Additional Contracts to Evaluate Effectiveness of H1N1 Vaccine
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Vaccine to Treat Breast, Ovarian Cancers Shows Promise
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 ... by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of ... honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. ... magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay ... be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, ... ... lifestyle publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as ... believes that “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: