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Are Personalized Vaccines the Future of Cancer Treatment?

posted: 04/03/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Cancer cells
vitanovski/Thinkstock

Personalized melanoma vaccines are showing promise in a new (albeit small) study conducted by doctors at Washington University. The custom vaccines, given to three advanced melanoma patients, significantly increased the amount of cancer-fighting T-cells in the patients' immune systems.

"Our results are preliminary, but we think the vaccines have therapeutic potential based on the breadth and remarkable diversity of the T-cell response," remarked study senior author Dr. Gerald Linette.

Linette and his team crafted the personalized vaccines by sequencing patient genomes to identify the mutated proteins in the tumor cells. A computer model then projected which of those proteins would "provoke a potent immune response", according to the study.

The findings clear the way for a six-patient, FDA-sanctioned phase I vaccine trial.

Click here for more information from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

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