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Cancer vaccine targets only tumor cells

A Houston researcher has reported that a new vaccine is capable of eliciting an immune response in two thirds of leukemia patients tested. Those who responded to the vaccine had better survival and remission rates of the cancer than those who didn't have the vaccine. 50% of those with an immune response were in remission 3 years after the vaccine compared to 23% of those without an immune response. Usually, these people would only live for 3 to 6 months so the vaccine provides a significant survival benefit. The vaccine can stimulate the immune system to hunt down and kill tumor cells. Because only tumor cells are targeted, healthy cells are not destroyed which leads to fewer side effects. Traditional cancer treatment often causes nausea and hair loss whereas the only side effects of the vaccine was a short term rash at the injection site in some of the subjects. Ultimately, the vaccine may become a preventative therapy for people at high risk of cancer.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by CBS News

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About: Cancer vaccine targets only tumor cells

Date: 7 December 2004

Source: CBS News


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