Personalized skin cancer vaccine shows promise

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For half a century, researchers have dreamed of giving cancer patients a vaccine that helps the immune system detect the tumors as foreign tissue and wipe them out…Now, a new approach that tailors a personalized vaccine to the mutated proteins in an individual’s tumor appears to have prevented early relapses in 12 people with skin cancer. It also may have helped several others by boosting the power of a new type of cancer drug that uses a different mechanism to unleash an immune attack on the tumor.

“We’re in this very exciting, new moment” for personalized cancer vaccines, says Catherine Wu of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston….

Whereas earlier, unsuccessful cancer vaccines usually targeted a single distinctive cancer protein shared among patients, these new ones contain multiple mutated proteins, or “neoantigens,” that are specific to an individual patient’s tumor.

One new study was conducted in six patients with melanoma that had spread to their lymph nodes and sometimes other sites…The researchers injected the vaccine under the patients’ skin periodically for 5 months. They had no serious side effects…All are now cancer-free up to 32 months later.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Personalized tumor vaccines keep cancer in check

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