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Lung cancer blog: Quest For a Lung Cancer Vaccine

Lung cancer blog Lung cancer main Non small cell  

Aug 27, 2005

Quest For a Lung Cancer Vaccine

Quest For a Lung Cancer Vaccine The other day I was with my friend when he was taking his kid for vaccination against measles. On my way back home I was thinking how nice it would be if we have a vaccine to prevent lung cancer. It is the dream of every cancer researcher to develop an effective cancer vaccine. Thanks to the relentless efforts of thousands of researchers all over the world, every day we are getting closer and closer to this cherished goal.

GVAX lung cancer vaccine is a patient-specific vaccine that is designed to induce a systemic immune response against the patient's lung cancer. The vaccine is created form the tumor cells of the patient. These tumor cells are then modified using a complex process of genetically modifying the patient's tumor cells to secrete GM-CSF, an immune stimulatory hormone. The cells are then given back to the patient in the form of vaccination against his or her lung cancer.

Cell Genesys presented initial data from initial Phase 1/2 trial of GVAX in patients with advanced non small-cell lung cancer at the International Conference on Gene Therapy of Cancer in December 2002. Of the 33 advanced stage patients, most of whom had failed prior chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, three patients (9 percent) experienced complete disappearance of all tumors with a median duration of response of 17.8 months. The median survival of all 33 treated patients was 11.6 months (measured from the initiation of vaccine manufacturing), which compares favorably to the approved second-line taxane chemotherapy for such patients. Of these three patients, two were noted to have the BAC subtype of lung cancer. In addition to these complete responses, seven patients (21 percent) achieved stable (non progressive) disease with median response duration of 7.7 months.

Encouraged by these initial trials with GVAX, Cell Genesys is conducting two Phase 2 clinical trials evaluating GVAX. The first of these Phase 2 trials, called GVAX Lung D-0031 is now fully enrolled and is waiting analysis.

The second trial called GVAX Lung SO310 / D-0032 is currently enrolling patients. In this trial surgically resected solid tumor masses or malignant pleural effusions will be collected and processed to make the patient-specific vaccines. If vaccine manufacturing is successful, patients will receive the vaccine under their skin every two weeks for a total of up to 5 vaccine treatments.

If you are interested in enrolling to this trial you may contact the Southwest Oncology Group Protocol Coordinator, Connie Ballon-Almanza at 210-677-8808.

These results are very encouraging, I truly believe that one day many forms of cancer may be preventable or at least treatable by some form of vaccination.

Scott      Return to Lung Cancer Blog Main


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Lung cancer
We engage a never-ending daily struggle to understand and defeat the hidden mysteries of cancer. This is a long and laborious fight, but some moments stand out as grim reminders of the severity of the problem and ruthlessness of the enemy.

Lung cancer blog: Quest For a Lung Cancer Vaccine

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