Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccine Against Melanoma Proves Successful For Patients With Disease Spread To Two Lymph Node Areas

Date:
April 14, 1999
Source:
Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
A custom-made vaccine created from a patient’s own cancer tumor cells appears effective in prolonging the survival of patients with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of the skin cancer, spread to two lymph node areas.

A custom-made vaccine created from a patient’s own cancer tumor cells appears effective in prolonging the survival of patients with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of the skin cancer, spread to two lymph node areas.

David Berd, professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a member of Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center, and his colleagues had previously proven the effectiveness of the vaccine in treating patients with malignant melanoma. Now, the researchers treated a subset of the original group of patients who had a particularly poor prognosis. Each had cancer that had spread to two lymph node areas, and each had surgery to remove the visible disease. The patients were then given the vaccine. According to Dr. Berd, 39 percent are estimated to live three years. In general, he says, only some 5 to 15 percent of such patients are cured by surgery alone.

In 15 patients with melanoma spread to the pelvic lymph nodes, 47 percent are estimated to live five-years. The usual surgical cure rate is only 5 to 10 percent.

"Now we’re looking at a group of patients with a particularly bad prognosis, and our results strengthen the evidence that the vaccine is therapeutic in a critical situation," says Dr. Berd.

He reports his results April 13 at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Philadelphia.

The vaccine is termed autologous, meaning that it’s prepared from a patient’s own cancer cells. Before injecting the cells into patients, the cells are inactivated and treated with a chemical, dinitrophenyl (DNP), which chemically modifies them. The modified cells appear foreign enough to the body’s immune system for it to react against them.

In the June 1997 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Berd reported the results of treatments on patients with melanoma spread to a single lymph node site (stage III disease). The vaccine treatments were started after the lymph nodes had been removed. Of 62 patients, 36 were still alive after a median follow-up time of 55 months. The projected 5-year relapse-free and overall survival rates for these patients were 45 percent and 58 percent respectively. This compares favorably with the 15- to 25-percent survival rates reported in patients treated with surgery alone.

Dr. Berd and his colleagues currently are participating in a Phase III trial to test the effectiveness of the vaccine on patients with disease that has spread to the lymph nodes. AVAX Technologies, Inc., of Kansas City, MO–which has exclusive rights to the Jefferson-based vaccine against malignant melanoma–sponsors the trial. AVAX is building a new vaccine laboratory and manufacturing facility in Philadelphia to increase quantities of the vaccine for future testing and use. The five-year randomized trial, already underway, will compare the effectiveness of an autologous melanoma vaccine to the standard treatment, which is alpha interferon. The trial involves 400 patients seen at institutions in several major cities. If the trial is successful, then AVAX will ask the FDA for approval to allow it to market the vaccine.

Malignant melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and is the fifth most common cancer among Americans. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 40,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 1999; more than 7,000 Americans will die from the disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University. "Vaccine Against Melanoma Proves Successful For Patients With Disease Spread To Two Lymph Node Areas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990414061006.htm>.
Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University. (1999, April 14). Vaccine Against Melanoma Proves Successful For Patients With Disease Spread To Two Lymph Node Areas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990414061006.htm
Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University. "Vaccine Against Melanoma Proves Successful For Patients With Disease Spread To Two Lymph Node Areas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990414061006.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins