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Lung Cancer Vaccine

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Did anyone see the news about the lung cancer vaccine. Its not for prevention, it is for treating lung cancer. I believe and the results are promising. If you google it the whole story will come up. The vaccine has less side effects as it stops a protein that lung tumors need to grow. Lori

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

Is this a different vaccine?

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Potential lung cancer vaccine put to the test in Everett
By Sharon Salyer, Herald Writer

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For J.K. Grant, participating in a test of a potential lung cancer vaccine is, as she puts it, her “civic duty.”

Grant was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, which resulted in surgery to remove tumors and parts of her right lung.

Shortly after, her physician asked if she would be willing to participate in a study testing whether a new vaccine is effective in preventing a recurrence of the most common type of lung cancer.

Grant didn't hesitate. “No, not a bit,” said Grant, 65, of Everett. “It might help someone else.”

The vaccine is being tested at Providence Regional Cancer Partnership, one of 141 sites nationally and 400 sites across the world working on the study. A total of 2,270 patients are expected to participate.

“Lung cancer, despite our best efforts, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of all three, has a high rate of recurrence — 30 to 60 percent,” said Dr. Kimberly Costas, a thoracic surgeon leading the study at the cancer partnership.

Scientists hope that the vaccine will be able to prompt lung cancer patients' immune systems to fight off a recurrence.

“Our body doesn't normally fight cancer because it's derived from our body's cells,” Costas said. “So our body doesn't recognize cancer cells as foreign and doesn't mount an immune response against them.”

Scientists who developed the vaccine found a specific protein that is found only in lung cancer cells, Costas said. They figured out a way to replicate the protein and coupled it with a chemical to boost the body's immune response.

The hunt for the protein was doubly hard. It is found only in one type of lung cancer, called non-small cell lung cancer. Even among these patients, only 30 to 50 percent have it, Costas said.

If the vaccine is found to be effective, it would work the way most vaccines work, Costas said. The body would make antibodies against the protein. “If the cancer recurs, it will fight off the cancer, like your body flights off the flu,” she said.

In Snohomish County, lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer, but the leading cause of cancer deaths.

Studies of new drugs most often include some people who get medicine and some who don't, so there is a way to measure its effectiveness.

In this study, for every two people who get cancer-fighting medicine in their vaccine, one patient does not, getting a placebo.

All study participants get injections over a period of 27 months. The first five shots are given every three weeks. The next eight injections are given every three months.

Patients are closely monitored, Costas said, receiving regular exams, medical imaging and other tests.

While patients know they have a one-in-three chance of getting the placebo, there are benefits to participating in the study, Costas said. Patients involved in clinical trials of potential cancer-fighting drugs have better survival rates. That may be because of the regular monitoring and checkups required by the studies.

Seven patients are now enrolled in the study in Everett, Costas said, joining 139 patients nationally. Even with this relatively small number, Everett ranks among the highest nationally in number of patients enrolled at one site.

Grant had her fourth injection on Friday. Oncology nurse Jody Velaborja asked her if the injection stung as she administered the shot.

“No,” Grant replied at first, then moments later said, “The more you get it in (the vaccine), the more it hurts.”

Grant said she feels she has side effects from the injections, “like I had the flu; everything hurts.”

She's been told she's the only patient among the seven participating in the Everett study so far that has reported side effects. But Grant said she hasn't considered dropping out. “I started it, I have to finish it,” she said.

Grant said her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and she was previously treated for breast cancer.

Marlene Brown, 71, of Mount Vernon, said she joined the study in January 2009 after reading about Costas, and just had her 10th injection a few weeks ago.

“Of course you don't know if you'll get the real injection or the placebo,” Brown said. Even the people giving the injections don't know, she said.

Brown said she didn't know about the medical study before being told about it by Costas.

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” Brown said. “I was for anything that would help at all.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

Trial under way

All participants in the study of a potential lung cancer vaccine must have a specific type of lung cancer, called non-small cell lung cancer, a specific protein in their tumor called MAGE-A3, must sign up for the study within four weeks of surgery to remove their tumor and be willing to get periodic injections over 27 months.

For more information on the test of a lung cancer vaccine, call Lynn Berg, a research coordinator at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, at 425-297-5577.

Source: Dr. Kimberly Costas, thoracic surgeon

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Great information. Thanks, z, for providing it. bfp later in the responses brings to mind another possible distinction that might need to be explored, when he/she advises that he/she has/had adenocarcinoma: there is more than one kind of non-small cell lung cancer (mine was squamous cell carcinoma, for example). I wonder if this would impact availability for the trials as well?

Thanks again for the potentially great news.

Take care,

Joe

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Regular Photo SizeAdvertisement
Lung cancer vaccine clinical trial
RI & Miriam Hospitals sign up for study
Updated: Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010, 6:25 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010, 6:25 PM EST

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital have signed up for an international clinical trial.

The study examines the effectiveness of a new vaccine that targets non-small cell lung cancer.

During treatment, the drugs are supposed to stimulate the immune system to respond to the patient's own cancer cells.

The study is still looking for participants. Patients who may be eligible must meet the following criteria:

•18 years of age or older
•have been diagnosed with Stage IB- IIIA non-small cell lung cancer
•have undergone surgical resection of the lung cancer and show no evidence of disease following surgery
•Additional criteria must also be met and eligibility for participation will be determined by the research team.
Participants will either receive a series of 13 doses of the vaccine or a placebo. Patient follow-up visits will be scheduled every two months for the remainder of the first year, and every three months for the next two years.

The trial is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. For more information, please call the Lifespan Oncology Clinical Research Office at Rhode Island Hospital: 401-444-8856 or The Miriam Hospital, 401-793-4283. OR click here .

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

I had no resection, but it's something to keep in mind for others ;-) Thank you, Z ;-)

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Yes, I saw that, while googling I saw where Cuba has a vaccine for stage IV lung cancer patients. All of this research gives me hope for everybody. I will go get the Cuba info.
Health

Cuba introduces lung cancer vaccine

English.news.cn 2010-12-17 12:44:24 FeedbackPrintRSS

HAVANA, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Cuban health authorities introduced the first vaccine to treat advanced lung cancer in all of the country's clinics, a health official said here Thursday.

Pedro Pablo Guerra, researcher from the National Coordination Center for Clinical Trials, confirmed that the vaccine, known as CIMAVAX EGF, is for people with advanced lung cancer.

"To bring important drugs to patients who need them is one of the main objectives for the Cuban Ministry of Public Health," he said.

This immunogenic drug, developed by the Molecular Immunology Center (CMI), is in phase four of clinical trials. It has proven effective and improves the quality of life of patients with lung cancer, the expert said.

He said this is the only vaccine registered in the world to treat advanced lung cancer.

Guerra said the vaccine is undergoing another phase of clinical trials at hospitals. This research will bring about the definitive registration of the product, which is already recognized in several countries.

The vaccine CIMAVAX EGF was presented at the Fourth International Congress of Pharmacology, which ends Thursday in Havana. Over 450 experts from Brazil, Indonesia, Spain, the United States, Japan, Cuba and other countries participated.

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
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Looks like 2011 is going to be a good year for new treatments! I'll be keeping my eye on these, thanks Z.

catcon49's picture
catcon49
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2008

This study is also being done at University of Pennsylvania. The oncologist I see for BRAC I mutation told me about it. She spoke with the doctors doing the study. I believe they are only allowing early stage cancer who have not received chemo into the study. After reading the side effects of the vaccine I opted not to participate. But hopefully it will prove to be a valuable study.

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

I just received my 7th injection of this vaccine on Wed.. Compared to surgery and chemo the side effects are mild. I do have a very sore arm for about 3 days and it does hurt at the time of injection. My biggest side effect is fever. My fevers usually begin about 6 hours after the injection. The degree of the fever has varied but usually peaks between the mid 101's and mid 102's. I am just drained for the next few days. Today, two days after my injection I woke up without a fever, but fought the fever overnight. If I follow my usual pattern, tommorrow I will be back to normal. If this works, maybe it will help all of us.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Hello and thank you for sharing. Will you please keep us updated on your progress. May I ask what stage you are and what treatment you have had before taking the vacine. This vaccine gives everyone hope. The side effects being mild is great. I wish you well. Lori

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Thank you. I will try to update everyone about the vaccine progress.
I was diagnosed Stage 1B adenocarcinoma. After surgical resection, the plan was for me to have four adjuvent chemo treatments. I received two doses of Alimta/Cisplatin before I developed neurotoxicity and hearing loss. At that point, I refused any of the platinum drugs for chemo and my chemo was stopped.
Today is day three after my injection and my arm is no longer sore and I have had no fever since yesterday afternoon. I am back to normal. Kim

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Was scheduled to have my 8th vaccine yesterday, but due to the storms in my area it had to be postponed. Was going to try again today but was told my vaccine was not viable due to power loss yesterday. Gonna try for next week. They are trying to get an emergency shipment. Will hopefully happen, I gone to far to stop now.

Kim

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

I did receive my 8th vaccine one week later. This time my side effects were different. The low grade fever did not go away for 8 days. I was extremely weak and was in the bed for 11 days. After a follow-up appt. I found that my liver enzymes were rising. After more than 2 weeks, my enzymes were continuing to rise. I was referred to a hepatologist and after blood work was told it was an auto-immune response. No one can tell me positively that it was caused my the vaccine or another medication I am taking. At this point it becomes a trial and error process. I was started on a new med. and as of last week, my enzymes are down to a non panic level. They are still 5 times more than normal. I am itching all over! I feel like something is crawling on me and of course when I look nothing is there. I have been told that it is my liver causing the itching. My onc. did tell me that they have been seeing some auto-immune responses with the vaccine.

I truly feel that this problem is caused by the vaccine. My enzymes decreased by 60 points in a 2 day period before I started the new med.. During this time I was still taking the other suspected med.. In my head, they would not have gone down if it was that medication causing the enzymes to rise.

My parents keep telling me "you can't fix something that isn't there" and are against me taking the vaccine. I only have 5 more injections scheduled and I will have completed the trial. I quit chemo before I had completed all 4 rounds that were advised and here I am seriously considering quiting again.

Here is my problem. Do I take more injections or do I stop? I know the importance of clinical trials for all of us, but where do I draw a line? How much damage do I risk for no guarantee? If I could only predict the future......

Kim

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Hi Kim, Thank you for updating us. I just saw your post today. If you want to stop you should, you must take care of yourself. Now because the chemo had such a bad affect on you and you had to quit, and now after these 3 injections and you are having bad side affects, no one would blame you for quitting this too. You have already helped in the clinical trial just by trying the vaccine. I'm sure they have gathered plenty of information from you. There is no damage worth the risk. Your right about predicting the future, and you have a hard decision to make. Please keep us posted. Lori

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

I had completely made up my mind to quit the vaccinations. I was completely decided, I thought. After an appointment this week with a neurologist, I am not so sure about my decision. He suggested that my anti-seizure medication could definely be the cause of my elevated liver enzymes. He feels that even if the vaccine is effecting the enzymes that the seizure medication is adding to the problem. He started me on a new medication that will not effect my liver and began to taper of the doses of the old med. In three weeks I will be completely off the "bad" med. He seems to think that if I take the vaccine once I am off the "bad" med that my enzymes will not go up so high. He said one thing that I can't get out of my mind. "We can fix your liver enzymes but we may not be able to fix your lung cancer if it comes back." I was scheduled to take my next vaccine on July 6. Since the appointment this week, I have rescheduled the vaccine. There is a window that I can take the vaccine in and I put it off until Aug 2 which is the last day in my window. I am hoping that this extra time will give me time to think and not make a rushed decision. Right now I am thinking of trying one more time. If I have another bad reaction, I guess I will have no choice but to quit. I am not a quitter and I feel like I'm giving up if I don't keep going. Cancer bites!

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Well I made it though vaccine #9 without any ill effects (just the normal fever and aches for a couple of days). My liver enzymes are better than they have been since I was diagnosed 19 months ago. It is the general opinion of all the doctors that as long as I take Actigal and stay off my dilantin that the immunotherapy will not damage my liver any further. Scheduled for more blood work next week just to keep up with the numbers, but, so far so good. Down to only 4 more injections (one year) and I will have completed the clinical trial. I've come so far with this I hope that I can finish.

Kim

smneider
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks for all your updates!

NayPaul's picture
NayPaul
Posts: 231
Joined: Oct 2010

Your updates are appreciated on this. Lot of learning and knowledge.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1261
Joined: May 2009

Thank you, Kim, thats great only 4 more to go. You will make history. I wish you well. Lori

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5843
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks for the info, I am new to the lung cancer site as I an H&N but having a lot of problems with the lungs now, PET next month will know then for sure.

Hondo

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Kim,

I am so glad you are doing well with the vaccine.

Kim

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks everyone. Your encouragement helps me a great deal.

Kim

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