Experimental Vaccine Shows Promise for Lung Cancer:
MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that
physicians may be able to strengthen the power of chemotherapy in
patients with the most common form of lung cancer by adding a
cancer vaccine to the treatment.
The combined treatment for non-small cell lung cancer was tested
in a phase 2 study and still has to go through more research, as
experimental drugs go through three phases of study. Although the
rate of serious side effects was somewhat higher in those who
received both treatments compared to chemotherapy alone, this new
approach seems feasible, the study authors said.
Commenting on the study, Srikumar Chellappan, chair of the
department of tumor biology and scientific director of the National
Functional Genomics Center at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and
Research Institute in Tampa, Fla., said that the research is
promising and the treatment could become a new strategy.
Chellappan, who was not involved with the study but is familiar
with the findings, noted there are caveats. "It should be pointed
out that the increases in overall survival and progression-free
survival are not dramatic, but any increase is very welcome,
considering that the patients are in an advanced stage of
Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer have very low
survival rates because of the spread of cancer to various organs in
the body, such as the brain, Chellappan noted.
Currently, patients with advanced disease are treated with
chemotherapy. In the study, published online Oct. 22 in
The Lancet Oncology, Elisabeth Quoix from the University of Strasbourg in France and colleagues assigned 148 patients in the advanced stages of non-small cell lung cancer to either receive the experimental cancer vaccine called TG4014 in combination with chemotherapy or receive chemotherapy alone.
After six months, the cancer in 43 percent of those given the
combination treatment hadn't progressed compared to 35 percent of
those who took chemotherapy alone. The combo treatment was
especially beneficial in a subgroup of patients who had a normal
number of a type of immune response cells called "natural killer
cells" upon entering the study, the researchers noted in a journal
The rate of serious side effects was 52 percent in those given
the combo treatment and 47 percent in those who received
Non-small cell lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer
death worldwide, and nearly half of these patients already have
advanced disease by the time they are diagnosed, the authors noted
in the news release.
For more about
lung cancer, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Copyright © 2011
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.