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Researchers Work on Melanoma Vaccine
Posted: June 2, 2009
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The study, which was to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando, Florida, was funded in part by Novartis, which makes Interleukin-2. "Obviously this is a disease, in its advanced setting, in need of better therapies for our patients," study co-author Dr. Patrick Hwu, a professor and chairman of M.D. Anderson's Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, said in a news release from the center. "While more follow-up is needed, this study serves as a proof-of-principle for vaccines' role in melanoma and in cancer therapy overall. 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."
The vaccine, called gp100:209-217 (200M), works by stimulating T-cells, which control immune response. "This vaccine activates the body's cytotoxic T-cells to recognize antigens on the surface of the tumor," Hwu said. "The T-cells then secrete enzymes that poke holes in the tumor cell's membrane, causing it to disintegrate."
The Skin Cancer Foundation has more about melanoma.
HealthDay News, May 30, 2009