Melanoma Vaccine to be Tested

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The two most common skin cancers are called basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Although these cancers are highly curable, treatment can be disfiguring.

Melanoma is the third most common skin cancer, which can be deadly.

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Melanoma Vaccine

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, a vaccine for melanoma has passed the initial human trial without causing any harmful side effects.

Researchers across the globe are excited that a cancer vaccine is in the works. Not only can this vaccine help prevent melanoma, but it could be used to prevent and treat other cancers as well.

Duke University researchers are injecting dendritic cells into patients. These cells are a part of the immune system that normally protects the body from diseases.

Dr. Ruemu Birhiary, an oncologist at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis explains that cancer cells block protein fragments that are essential to the immune system and allow cancers such as melanoma to get worse.

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International Research for Melanoma Vaccine

In London, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) will evaluate the safety of immunotherapy towards curing advanced melanoma.

The vaccine developed by RPCI researchers shows promise for treating tumors in patients with stage III/ stage IV melanoma.

Surgical oncologist and chief of the melanoma/sarcoma service at RPCI, John M. Kane III, will lead the phase 1 clinical trial.

The trial will involve 12 to 20 patients over the course of three years. These patients with advanced melanoma will receive a series of three vaccinations over six weeks.

This research will be funded by the donation from the Jennifer Linscott Tietgen Family Foundation.

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The donation is intended to help new developmental therapies. This study is the sixth launched through RPCI’s center for immunotherapy since the center opened in 2010.

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