Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer Vaccine May Help Patients With Melanoma Spread To The Lungs

Date:
May 15, 2001
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
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, that is removed after having spread to the lung.

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, that is removed after having spread to the lung.

Related Articles


David Berd, M.D., 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 shown the vaccine was effective in treating patients with malignant melanoma, the fastest growing cancer in the United States. 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 then treated with dinitrophenyl (DNP), which is a chemical known as a hapten and which modifies them. The altered cells appear foreign enough to the immune system for it to react against them.

In the current study, Dr. Berd and his co-workers gave the vaccine to 37 patients with advanced (stage IV) melanoma that has spread beyond the lymph nodes. Twenty patients had cancer that had spread to the lung. The others had disease spread to other areas. Each had surgery to completely remove the cancer.

Dr. Berd found that giving the DNP vaccine to those patients following their surgery resulted in an estimated 59 percent of patients living three years, which he terms a “good response for these patients.” Only 10 to 20 percent of such patients typically live five years or more with surgery alone.

He reports his team’s results May 14 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in San Francisco.

“The unexpected finding is that those with lung metastasis so far are doing better than those with soft tissue metastasis,” says Dr. Berd. “The opposite should be true according to what is published in the medical literature. This goes along with our previous observation that the vaccine is more likely to cause shrinkage of inoperable lung metastases than of skin metastases.”

The researchers also found that nearly all of the patients had a positive immunological skin test called the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) test, indicating an aroused immune system to their own tumor cells following vaccine. Dr. Berd has shown in the past that the patients who had a better DTH response to the modified cancer cells lived longer than those who did not.

Dr. Berd has shown the vaccine to be effective in other trials. In an expanded Phase II trial of 214 melanoma patients with disease spread to either one or two lymph node areas, he reported last year that 47 percent lived for five years. Those with cancer spread to only one lymph node area did even better (50 percent five-year survival). The surgical cure rate is about 20 percent for these patients.

Dr. Berd and his colleagues participate 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. The five-year randomized trial compares the effectiveness of the melanoma vaccine to the standard treatment, which is alpha interferon. The trial will involve approximately 400 patients seen at institutions in several major cities. More than 40,000 new cases and 7,000 deaths will occur this year from the disease, the fifth most common cancer in the nation.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Cancer Vaccine May Help Patients With Melanoma Spread To The Lungs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010515075955.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. (2001, May 15). Cancer Vaccine May Help Patients With Melanoma Spread To The Lungs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010515075955.htm
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Cancer Vaccine May Help Patients With Melanoma Spread To The Lungs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010515075955.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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