Personalised Vaccines Hold Cancer at Bay in Two Early Trials

Excerpt:

“A novel class of personalised cancer vaccines, tailored to the tumours of individual patients, kept disease in check in two early-stage clinical trials, pointing to a new way to help the immune system fight back.

“Although so-called immunotherapy drugs from the likes of Merck & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche are starting to revolutionise cancer care, they still only work for a limited number of patients.

“By adding a personalised cancer vaccine, scientists believe it should be possible to improve substantially the effectiveness of such immune-boosting medicines.”

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Personalized Vaccines May Protect Patients With High-Risk Melanoma

Excerpt:

“The field of cancer vaccines may be reinvigorated by a new understanding, and the therapeutic leveraging, of neoantigens. Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston are exploring this novel approach as a means of protecting patients with high-risk melanoma from recurrence. Early results from a phase I study were reported at the 2nd International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference by Patrick A. Ott, MD, PhD, Clinical Director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology.”

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Personalized Vaccines May Boost Survival After Interleukin Treatment

High doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) can shrink melanomas but only 15% of people are still alive five years after this treatment. Now, new research shows that giving people vaccines against their own tumors could boost survival after IL-2 treatment. In a study of 149 people with melanomas that had spread, those treated with both IL-2 and a personalized vaccine lived far longer than those treated with IL-2 alone (nearly 40 vs. 12 months, respectively). In addition, people were far more likely to be alive at five years when given the vaccine before IL-2 treatment than when the order was reversed (46% vs. 14%, respectively).