Survival Chances Of Melanoma Patients Improves With Vaccine

by Tanya Thomas on  June 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
The results of a large clinical trial have shown that a vaccine combined with the immune-boosting drug Interleukin-2 can improve response rate and progression-free survival for patients with advanced melanoma, which is the most lethal type of skin cancer.
 Survival Chances Of Melanoma Patients Improves With Vaccine
Survival Chances Of Melanoma Patients Improves With Vaccine

"This is the first time that a vaccine has shown benefit in the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma. The trial is an early example of success with a cancer vaccine," said Dr. Howard Kaufman, director for the Rush University Cancer Center and study co-investigator.

"If we can use the body's own defense system to attack tumor cells, we provide a mechanism for ridding the body of cancer without destroying healthy tissue," said Kaufman, who is also an associate dean of Rush Medical College and a professor in the departments of general surgery, internal medicine and immunology and microbiology at Rush University.

Researchers experimented with 185 patients with metastatic melanoma, who were assigned to either a combination of the peptide vaccine, which is a small portion of protein that exists on the surface of the melanoma cancer cells, and Interleukin-2, or a high dose of Interleukin-2 alone.

About 16 percent of study participants given the vaccine and Interleukin-2 combination saw tumors shrink by 50 percent or more, compared to 6 percent given Interleukin-2 alone.

Patients given the combined vaccine lived an average of nearly seven months longer than those only give Interleukin.

The trial results were published in June 2 Issue of New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: ANI

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