Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vaccine makes pancreatic cancers susceptible to immunotherapy

Pancreatic cancer YouTube 
CANCER DIGEST – June 18, 2014 – Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed and tested a vaccine that triggered the growth of immune cell nodules within pancreatic tumors, potentially making them vulnerable to immune-based therapies. 

In their study described in the June 18 issue of Cancer Immunology Research, the researchers tested the vaccine in 39 people with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC), the most common form of pancreatic cancer. The vaccine, called GVAX, created structures called tertiary lymphoid aggregates within the patients' tumor; structures that help regulate immune cell activation and movement. The aggregates appeared in 33 of the 39 patients treated with the vaccine. The aggregates could shift the immunologic balance within a tumor, setting up an environment to activate good T cells to fight the cancer. The disease becomes resistant to standard chemotherapies and is particularly lethal, with fewer than 5 percent of patients surviving five years after their diagnosis.

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