Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
Demo Company

Vaccine Application Extends Life of Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 24 Feb 2010
In a newly published clinical trial, patients with metastatic prostate cancer who received a vaccine of harmless poxviruses engineered to trigger an immune system attack on prostate tumor cells lived considerably longer than patients who received a placebo vaccine.

The study's findings were published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology on its website in January 2010, and scheduled for later print publication. The randomized phase II study was performed by researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA, USA) and affiliated organizations. The study involved the PROSTVAC-VF vaccine, a combination of two weakened poxviruses that have been genetically programmed to produce slightly irregular versions of prostate specific antigen (PSA)--a protein on the surface of prostate cells that is abnormal in many prostate cancers--and three costimulatory molecules that spur the immune system to a more vigorous attack on tumor cells.

The double-blinded trial included 125 patients with metastatic prostate cancer who did not respond to standard, hormone-lowering therapy. Eighty-two of the participants received the vaccine, produced by BN ImmunoTherapeutics, Inc. (Mountain View, CA, USA), and 40 received a placebo.

At the three-year point after the study, 30% of the PROSTVAC-VF patients were alive, versus 17% of the control group. The median survival of the vaccine group was 24.5 months, compared to 16 months for the control group, an 8.5-month increase.

Patients tolerated the vaccine well; only a small number experienced side effects such as fatigue, fevers, and nausea. "Although this study is relatively small, it offers encouraging evidence of a clinically meaningful benefit from this vaccine approach,” said lead investigator and lead author Philip Kantoff, M.D., of Dana-Farber, who helped design the trial.

Investigators are now planning a phase III trial that will enroll about 600 patients to evaluate further the vaccine's effectiveness.

Related Links:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
BN ImmunoTherapeutics



view channel
Image: Schematic representation of HIV DART binding to two distinct antigens simultaneously, redirecting the killer T-cells to destroy HIV-1 infected cells (Photo courtesy of Duke University).

Bi-Specific Antibodies Shown to Clear Latent HIV Infections

Bi-specific antibodies or DARTS (dual-affinity re-targeting proteins) have been used to eliminate latent HIV-infection from patient samples by redirecting polyclonal T-cells to specifically engage with... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Use of catchphrase terms like “breakthrough” and “promising” in public news media presenting new drugs tends to result in incorrect assumptions and conclusions about the meaning and significance of criteria for FDA breakthrough-designated and accelerated-approval drugs (Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Institute).

Words That Inappropriately Enhance Perception of New Drug’s Effectiveness

Researchers have found that using the words “breakthrough” and “promising” in presenting a new drug to the general public often has a dramatic effect on judgment about its effectiveness.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

New Genomic Research Kit Simplifies Exome Studies

An exciting new tool is now available for biotech researchers working in the field of genomic analysis. The human exome is critical to our genetic make-up and is generally accepted as having the greatest influence on how the genetic blueprint is utilized. The exome is defined as all coding exons in the genome and is... Read more


view channel

Sale of Mexican Pharmaceutical Company Expected to Boost Latin American Prescription Drug Market

The sale of a major Mexican pharmaceutical company to an international generic drug corporation is expected to accelerate the growth of the Latin American market for prescription drugs. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Petah Tikva, Israel) announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to buy Representaciones... Read more


17 Oct 2015 - 21 Oct 2015
25 Oct 2015 - 29 Oct 2015
16 Nov 2015 - 19 Nov 2015
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.