Published Online: May 21, 2014Research from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey shows that the ‘first in man’ series of vaccine injections given directly into a pancreatic cancer tumor is not only well tolerated, but also suggests an “encouraging” period of stable disease. Results from a Phase I clinical trial conducted at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey are being given as part of a poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Pancreatic Cancer: Innovations in Research and Treatment conference being held in New Orleans this week.
Vaccine therapies are designed to strengthen the body’s immune defenses and are typically given in the arm or leg. In a previous study, investigators at the Cancer Institute showed that using a vaccine treatment for bladder and breast cancer tumors in laboratory models resulted in a reversal of the traditional immune blockade, as well as the development of tumor specific immunity throughout the body. This tumor specific immunity showed the potential of blocking the growth of the original tumor as well as eliminating small tumor deposits that can cause the cancer to spread. Building on this research, investigators further tested this vaccine in a direct injection method in patients who were not candidates for surgery to remove their cancer. The Cancer Institute’s Associate Director for Education and Training Edmund Lattime, PhD, who is also a professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Elizabeth Poplin, MD, co-director of the Cancer Institute’s Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary Program and a professor of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are the lead investigators of the study.
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