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A Promising New Vaccination Strategy for Late-Stage Melanoma

are very encouraging,” says Dr. Lloyd J. Old, director of the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative and chairman of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and a contributing author to the paper. “While this study cannot tell us definitively about the potential, overall benefit induced by this vaccination strategy, it does give a strong impression that, in patients with advanced metastatic melanoma at least, vaccination altered the expected course of the disease.”

Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., executive director of the Cancer Research Institute, which provides funding for Cancer Vaccine Collaborative studies like this one, hailed the study as another successful step forward in her organization’s efforts to develop immune-based approaches to the treatment, control, and prevention of cancer.

“Evidence is mounting that the cancer vaccines we are studying in the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative are having significant clinical benefit for some patients,” Dr. O-Donnell-Tormey says. “While these are at present a small number of individuals, we see real potential for broader-scale impact. The data we are amassing from this and other CVC studies continue to support the rationale for further exploration of the potential of immune-based cancer therapy. In the process, CVC studies are teaching us some extremely valuable lessons about the fundamentals of cancer vaccination.”

The Cancer Vaccine Collaborative has previously reported on trials testing several NY-ESO-1 peptides and whole-protein, and is currently evaluating DNA, viral vector, and bacterial vector-based NY-ESO-1 vaccines. Most notably, a CVC team based in Melbourne reported last year on the efficacy of a NY-ESO-1 peptide vaccine used in combination with ISCOMATRIX? adjuvant which seemed to delay recurrence in melanoma patients. That trial prompted the CVC to open a randomized phase II study of the vaccine, which is currently accruing patients in Australia and the UK in order to determine mor
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