Ovarian Tumor Vaccine results

I know last week someone was asking about the vaccine at University of Pensylvania- this press release might interest you

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/

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19 replies. Join the discussion

Thanks for posting!

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Thanks Hanan ,the article says they have opened and enrolled 25 in a new study and plan to enroll another 30 women. If I was able to do this, I would be on the phone at 6am tomorrow!

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This makes very interesting reading - hope the trial will be successful. One thing I wonder is - they talk about "teaching" the immune system to recognise the cancer cells, so would it still be useful for those whose immune systems had infiltrated the tumour without the treatment - ie would it boost it as well as teach it.

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Yes, this treatment is designed to boost as well as teach the immune system. The booster is the second phase which involves adoptive T-cell transfer. They remove the "educated" T cells and let them multiply in the laboratory, then re-inject them into the patient.

To get into the trial you need fresh tumor, either taken at the time of debulking or harvested later. If you have progressed on Avastin that disqualifies you, since the treatment involves Avastin in part.

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Thanks for this. Interesting.

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Thank you, Hanan....Very interesting.

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Thank You

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Thank you for the article.

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Thanks for posting and thanks Juarte for this info! :)

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Last week I spoke with the coordinator to see if I'm a candidate. I'm in my second recurrence, third line chemo, Doxil as a single agent. Here are some of the requirements for the trial: the tumor must be at least 3 X 3 cm, they must harvest live tissue to make the vaccine, there must be debulking surgery and, almost always, they use Avastin. My tumor is only 2.1 X 1.8 cm. In addition, I'd never have anyone other than my surgeon, Dr. Barakat, at MSKCC, do any new debulking surgery and, so far, I'm avoiding Avastin because of the risk of perforation. Lastly, any surgery to get at my new tumor would require removing my right colon and connecting my ilium directly into my left colon. That would leave me with a chronic diarrhea problem. So, for all these reasons, I'm not a candidate. My hope is that somehow a vaccine will be developed that does not need live dsiease tissue to make. Best to all.

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Xanthic, there are other vaccines in trial that do not require live tissue. Some are dendritic cell vaccines like the ones at Penn, but instead of stimulating them with live tumor tissue they stimulate them with some antigen that most ovarian cancer cells express such as MUC1 or NY-ESO1. Here is a list of ovarian cancer vaccine clinical trials:
http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=ovarian+cancer+vaccine

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Jurate, do you mean that anyone who recurred while on avastin would not be eligible for this trial?

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Yes, grendelsma, that is correct. I went to the University of Pennsylvania for an appointment with Dr. Tanyi regarding this trial and he was quite emphatic about this. They combine the vaccine with Avastin, and the research protocol says that people who have progressed on Avastin are specifically excluded. They cannot make exceptions without messing up the protocol. This excluded me because I had recurred while on Avastin.

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Thanks so much for sharing. I hadn't seen that in the exclusion criteria. I am trying not to freak out about it. I'm on maintenance avastin indefinitely, and I've had that trial in the back of my mind in case of a recurrence. (I'm being treated by another doc at Penn.) Sigh.

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Grendelsma, once I recurred on Avastin my doctors (including Dr. Tanyi) told me to stop taking it. They said if it isn't working I should stop.
Do I understand this right, that you are going to stay on Avastin indefinitely even though you are recurring?

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No. I am not recurring, but the plan is for me to stay on it until I recur (if I ever do . . . . ). I have been on it just over a year at this point. My oncologist has patients who have been on it for several years--and for whom it has kept disease stable. I don't know. All of these treatment decisions feel enormously consequential and yet horribly opaque. It seems, overall, that the criteria for the Penn trials are very rigorous.

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Oh, I see. You were planning on the vaccine trial in case you did recur, but if you do recur you will be ineligible because you progressed on Avastin.

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Yes, exactly. I know I'm getting ahead of myself . . .

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Thanks so much for posting. I am looking into this study for myself & hope it all works out.

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