Small trial suggests the scans might help, but experts aren't so sure
by Roselvr on Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:36 PM
I caught this on their FB page today & am trying to find more information.Cancer Institute of New Jersey was doing a clinical trial for a vaccine for PC.
Does anyone know more?
It has been known for a number of years based on studies by scientists at CINJ and elsewhere, that the presence of a tumor in the body can actively inhibit the immune system from recognizing and destroying these same tumors. Studies on mouse models at CINJ have shown this blockade of immunity also prevents traditional cancer vaccines from producing a good response.
As part of these studies at CINJ, investigators have shown that injecting a vaccine and other immunity-producing drugs into the tumor itself -- rather than the traditional site of the skin -- can result in a reversal of the immune blockade and the development of specific immunity to the tumor. This body-wide tumor-specific immunity has the potential of inhibiting the growth of the original tumor as well as eliminating small deposits of tumor that can form metastases.
These findings have led to the development of a vaccine strategy targeting patients with pancreatic cancer, where the vaccine would be injected directly into the tumor. It is believed that this trial would be the first such study to evaluate direct injection into a pancreas tumor to enhance the body’s immune response to help fight the cancer
Elizabeth Poplin MD; medical oncologist at CINJ and professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is the lead researcher on this clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, which will look at the investigational vaccine known as PANVAC. PANVAC has special genes added to it that might stimulate a person’s immune system to recognize and develop an immune response to the disease.
by Roselvr on Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:49 PM
This is the newest update
Date:April 4, 2012
Vaccine Regimen that Strengthens Body's Immune Defenses Associated with Stable Disease in Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer
Research from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) shows that a series of vaccine injections given directly into a pancreatic cancer tumor is shown to be associated with stable disease in patients who are not candidates for surgery. Early results of a clinical trial being conducted at CINJ are being presented as part of a "highly-rated poster" at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) being held in Chicago this week. CINJ is a Center of Excellence of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Previous laboratory research by CINJ investigators has shown that injecting a vaccine and other immunity-producing drugs directly into a cancer tumor -- as opposed to the normal injection site of the skin -- can result in a reversal of the traditional immune blockade and the development of specific immunity to the tumor throughout the body. This tumor-specific immunity has the potential of blocking the growth of the original tumor as well as eliminating small tumor deposits that can cause the cancer to spread. Stemming from this research is a clinical trial that is the focus of this abstract. The study by CINJ investigators further tests this vaccine strategy, designed to heighten the role of the body’s own immune system in fighting cancer.
The investigational vaccine known as PANVAC contains gene additives that might stimulate a person's immune system to recognize and develop an immune response to the disease. Two types of PANVAC have been utilized in this trial. PANVAC-V, which uses the same virus as the smallpox vaccine, is a live but weakened vaccinia vaccine (meaning the virus can still multiply) that is given in the arm. PANVAC-F (a live Fowlpox virus that cannot multiply) is injected into the tumor itself and subsequently into the arm as a boost. Direct tumor injection takes place during a procedure known as endoscopic ultrasound, in which a scope is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach so that the tumor in the pancreas can be seen.
During the first phase of the study, which looked at six participants whose cancer could not be removed through surgery, patients were evaluated for toxicity, tumor progression and the presence of tumor markers for pancreatic cancer. One patient was treated with gemcitabine, followed by capecitabine and radiation, prior to the vaccination regimen and received no other treatment after. Two patients were removed from the study after two weeks due to rapid disease progression; one died six months after first being placed on the trial and the other after one month. Of the remaining four patients, three received gemcitabine – a standard treatment for pancreatic cancer – after receiving vaccination treatment.
Of these four patients, all were shown to have clinically stable disease after 24 months, 22 months, 21 months and 18 months respectively. The second part of the trial is still accruing additional participants, who are being given a higher dosage of PANVAC-F during direct injection of the tumor.
CINJ Deputy Director Edmund Lattime, PhD, is the senior researcher on the study, which is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). "We're seeing results of clinically stable disease for a year and a half now in some cases with this treatment regimen. Considering pancreatic cancer only carries a five-year, five percent survival rate, these findings are very encouraging and will hopefully lead to more effective ways of managing and treating this disease," noted Dr. Lattime who is also a professor of surgery and a professor of molecular genetics, microbiology and immunology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Along with Lattime, authors include Elizabeth Poplin, David August, Tamir Ben-Menachem, Hazar Michael and Renee Artymyshyn of CINJ and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; James L. Gulley and Jeffrey Schlom of the NCI; and Robert S. DiPaola of CINJ and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The work was supported by the NCI Cancer Therapeutics Evaluation Program and by NCI U01-CA07031 and P30-CA72720. This research also was presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference: Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics meeting held in San Francisco this past November.
by Roselvr on Sun Apr 15, 2012 02:12 PM
More information that was in another post-
I spoke to the team at the NCI New Jersey regarding my Dad's eligibility for Panvac. Sadly, for this next phase of the trial, they are not taking on anyone who has had previous chemotherapy. Dad has only had 2 weeks worth, but he still doesn't qualify. Really disappointing as seems so promising. This link should help...though it doesn't mention 'no previous chemo' in the eligibility requirements.
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