4-Day Turnaround for Ovarian Cancer Vaccines

Recurrent ovarian cancer treated with dendritic cell vaccines

(RxWiki News) Women with recurrent ovarian cancer have very few treatment options. That's about to change. In the near future, women may have vaccines custom made for them to help their immune systems attack the cancer.

Scientists are perfecting the process for quickly manufacturing a vaccine that looks promising for treating ovarian cancer and possibly other types of tumors.

This exciting development takes personalized medicine to the next level.

"Learn everything you can about cancer treatments."

Medical scientists with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are currently testing a personalized vaccine in women who have advanced ovarian cancer. These vaccines use dendritic cells, which are a type of white blood cell and rev up the immune system to fight off the cancer and slow tumor growth.

George Coukos, M.D., Ph.D., who directs the Ovarian Cancer Research Center in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, is leading the research team that's has already demonstrated it can shorten the time and costs of manufacturing this vaccine.

They're currently working with a vaccine that can be cultured in the lab in as few as four days.

"This is a very personalized approach to immunotherapy, which can be easily prepared for most patients with ovarian cancer undergoing surgery to remove their tumors,” Dr. Coukos said in Penn news release.

The use of vaccines as cancer therapy has become a major area of research. Vaccines work by stimulating the patient's own immune system to attack the cancer.

Data from this study was published in the December issue of PLoS ONE.

Review Date: 
January 5, 2012