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Leukemia Vaccines continued

Home forums Patient Message Board Leukemia Vaccines continued

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    concern
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    Hi.. Am passing out detailed information that I received..

    Leukemia Vaccine Shows Early Promise
    Larger studies to begin next year, researchers report.

    By Ed Edelson
    HealthDay Reporter

    MONDAY, Dec. 6 2004 (HealthDayNews) — A leukemia vaccine has been successful enough
    in its first trials to warrant larger studies that will include hundreds of
    patients, researchers report.

    The vaccine prompted an immune system attack against the overproduced leukemic white
    blood cells in 20 of 33 people with different forms of the blood cancer, said study
    leader Dr. Jeffrey Molldrem, an associate professor of medicine at the University of
    Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

    The most impressive results occurred in the four people with the form of the disease
    called acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), which affects about 12,000 Americans each
    year. Three of them had complete remissions that have persisted for several years,
    and the most delicate test available finds no trace of the disease in two patients,
    Molldrem said.

    The researchers presented their findings Dec. 6 at the American Society of
    Hematology annual meeting in San Diego.

    A multi-center study to include more than 100 AML patients will start in February,
    Molldrem said. Similar studies that will include patients with another form of the
    disease, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and a precancerous condition called
    myelodysplastic syndrome, will also begin early next year, he said.

    The vaccine uses a molecule designated PR1 that is overproduced by leukemia cells,
    Molldrem said. It causes T-cells in the immune system to attack those cells while
    ignoring normal cells.

    “We starting looking about 10 years ago, hoping to find how T-cells recognize
    leukemic cells,” Molldrem explained. “PR1 is overexpressed on the surface of
    leukemic cells.”

    He acknowledged that “we were a little surprised at the results. Our primary end
    point was just to get an immune response, but when we treated these people with the
    vaccine, they went into remission.”

    Alan Kinniburgh, senior vice president for research at the Leukemia and Lymphoma
    Society, called the findings “very exciting.” The vaccine seems to provide a much
    simpler, less traumatic method of achieving the results that now require a bone
    marrow transplant.

    A transplant is done by first using radiation and chemotherapy to wipe out the
    existing blood cell system. A new system then is established with a transplant.
    Studies have shown that transplants work by establishing an immune system that has
    T-cells that do what the old system did not — attack leukemic cells, Kinniburgh
    explained.

    “We know that the curative effect of a bone marrow transplant is in the immune
    system,” he said. “This (the vaccine) is a procedure that eliminates all the toxic
    therapy required for a bone marrow transplant.”

    Molldrem cautioned that the vaccine development is in its early stage and “there is
    still much more to be done.”

    Kinniburgh agreed. It’s “a little early to talk about wider use” of the vaccine, he
    said. “I’d like to see a larger study focusing on AML patients to see if this 75
    percent response rate holds up,” he said.

    In another promising development in the fight against leukemia, researchers reported
    at the same meeting that an experimental drug called BMS-354825 shows promise in
    treating people with chronic myelogenous leukemia who fail to respond to Gleevec,
    the standard treatment for the disease.

    Data from early clinical trials suggest the drug can overcome Gleevec resistance in
    people with early stage CML. The 36 patients in the study suffered intolerance or a
    worsening of their disease when they were treated with Gleevec.

    “Our study examined patients in all phases of CML, including the chronic phase, the
    accelerated phase, and blast crisis. The patients responded quite well to this new
    compound, and we observed no side effects,” study leader Charles L. Sawyers, of the
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, said in a prepared statement.

    “In fact, the results of this clinical trial match very closely with what we would
    have predicted the outcome to be based on our earlier studies of this drug in mice,”
    Sawyers said.

    More information. Email this Dr his Staff will give you direct
    information:ckoller@mdanderson.org —-direct contact Dr C Koller and Dr Jeff
    Molldrem(Prof) work on this project together,but Dr Kollers intake worker will be
    able to direct you into these particular Vaccine Trials.

    Self Referral contact —
    (SOURCES: Jeffrey Molldrem, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Texas
    M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Alan Kinniburgh, Ph.D, senior vice president,
    research, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, White Plains, N.Y.: Dec. 5-6, 2004,
    presentations, American Society of Hematology annual meeting, San Diego)

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