Cancer Vaccine Work Progresses

A summary article from an ABC station reminds us that work on cancer vaccines continues to move forward: "The study to create a new solution to pancreatic cancer [median survival from diagnosis is around 3 to 6 months; 5-year survival is much less than 5%] is headed by Dr. Laheru and has been in progress for about two years. The researchers are using surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, but are supplementing it with a new vaccine. The vaccine uses cancer cells that are stunted in growth that emit a certain molecule called GM-CSF. This molecule attracts cells that still have immunity to the tumor and causes them to come in contact with antigens from cells that have been exposed to radiation. These same cells then travel around the body and annihilate other cancerous cells. Patients receive the vaccination eight to 10 weeks after surgery and again after chemotherapy and radiation in a series of four booster shots. Two years into the study, the statistical results are optimistic. Of the 60 patients in the study, survival rates are reported to be 88 percent after one year and 76 percent after two years."


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