New Vaccine To Treat Skin Cancer

by Medindia Content Team on  January 24, 2005 at 2:40 PM Research News
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New Vaccine To Treat Skin Cancer
The most deadly form of skin cancer , advanced melanoma can now be successfully treated by injecting patients with tumor proteins, say researchers according to a recent study .
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Researchers studied what effect vaccinating patients with tumor antigens (called MAGE-3) might have on patients' immune cells, which are known as killer T-cells. It was found that injecting patients with the tumor antigens increased the amount of killer T-cells that can attack a tumor. However, results also showed that the killer T-cells mainly recognized tumor proteins not contained in the vaccine.

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Most melanoma patients have detectable, tumor-specific T-cells in their blood and tumors, but these T-cells are not able to attack the tumor, and researchers say they are unclear as to why it happens . Researchers also say they are unclear why vaccination can cause tumors to regress, when tumor specific T-cells do not increase nearly as much as non-tumor specific T-cells.

In conclusion researchers say they believe that the few tumor specific T-cells that are stimulated by the vaccine may create an environment that somehow wakes up other T-cells to attack the tumor.
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