Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Test Custom-Made Vaccine For Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Approach Uses Patient's Own Tumor Cells To Harness Immune System

Date:
April 29, 2002
Source:
University Of Maryland Medical Center
Summary:
As part of a national multi-center study, researchers at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore are testing a custom-made vaccine for low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that uses each patient’s own tumor cells to combat the cancer.

As part of a national multi-center study, researchers at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore are testing a custom-made vaccine for low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that uses each patient’s own tumor cells to combat the cancer.

Related Articles


“This type of low-grade follicular lymphoma has traditionally been highly treatable, but essentially incurable,” says Aaron P. Rapoport, M.D., the director of lymphoma-gene medicine at the Greenebaum Cancer Center and the chief investigator for the study. “This technique for harnessing the immune system may result in long-term disease remission and potential cures for some patients.”

So far, four people have been enrolled in the study at the Greenebaum Cancer Center, but researchers hope to recruit a total of 12 to 15 patients in the Phase III clinical trial. The first patient to be vaccinated, a 45-year-old Baltimore woman, started her treatment earlier this month after completing a course of chemotherapy.

About 480 patients are expected to participate in the nationwide study at 25 institutions in the United States and Canada. The study is sponsored by Genitope Corporation, a California-based biotechnology company developing new therapies for treating cancer.

To be eligible for the study, patients must have been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, a common form of cancer of the lymphatic system, and have not yet received treatment. If enrolled, they will have a small biopsy taken of their cancer, either from a lymph node or bone marrow, which will be sent to Genitope Corporation to make a vaccine unique to each patient.

The customized vaccine is designed to target a tumor-specific marker, or idiotype, which, like a fingerprint, is unique to every lymphoma patient. Once injected, the vaccine is intended to activate the immune system to attack cells that have the idiotype protein on their surface, namely the cancer cells.

“Without this, the body’s immune system is somewhat blind to the lymphoma. Lymphomas and other types of cancers use mechanisms to evade the body’s immune system,” says Dr. Rapoport, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

He said that in earlier clinical trials, about two-thirds of the patients showed positive immunological responses to the vaccinations. “But it is difficult to know the clinical impact of that,” he says. “Does it mean that they have better responses or longer-lasting responses? That’s what this study is designed to show.”

In this trial, patients first receive eight rounds of chemotherapy with three drugs – cytoxan, vincristine and prednisone. If they experience at least a 50 percent remission, they remain in the study and are observed for another five months while their bodies rest from the chemotherapy.

If there is still no progression of their disease, two-thirds of the patients receive a vaccine crafted from their own tumor cells, plus an immune system stimulant, while one-third receive a vaccine using only a carrier protein and the stimulant, which may also activate the immune system in a beneficial way.

With the selections made at random by computer, neither the doctors nor the patients know which type of injections the patients will receive.

The patients will receive a series of seven vaccinations over six months and then have follow-up scans to check on the progress of their disease for the next two years. The results of the clinical trial are expected within two to three years, depending on when the last patient is treated.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in the United States, with about 57,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Low-grade follicular lymphomas are generally treated with radiation if they are localized or chemotherapy if they are widespread, Dr. Rapoport says. The cancer responds well to treatment, but is likely to recur.

“I believe this technology offers the potential for better treatment results than we have previously seen,” Dr. Rapoport says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Maryland Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Maryland Medical Center. "Researchers Test Custom-Made Vaccine For Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Approach Uses Patient's Own Tumor Cells To Harness Immune System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020429073930.htm>.
University Of Maryland Medical Center. (2002, April 29). Researchers Test Custom-Made Vaccine For Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Approach Uses Patient's Own Tumor Cells To Harness Immune System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020429073930.htm
University Of Maryland Medical Center. "Researchers Test Custom-Made Vaccine For Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Approach Uses Patient's Own Tumor Cells To Harness Immune System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020429073930.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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