NHL Vaccine?   3 comments

Traditional treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma typically consist of chemotherapy, radiation and recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. If Biovest International is successful in one of their latest lines of research, we will be able to add personalized vaccine to the list.

BiovaxIDOne of Biovest’s products, BiovaxID takes a patient-specific approach to cancer treatment and is currently being tested for indolent (slow-growing) follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Personalizing BiovaxID begins with a sampling of cancerous cells from a patient’s lymph nodes. On the surface of these cells are unique proteins, or antigens, detectable by the immune system. The doctor sends this sample of the patient’s cancer cells to Biovest’s laboratory in Worcester, Mass. Here, researchers mix the cells with another line of cells licensed from Stanford University. The cells fuse, releasing the antigen proteins.

As the patient undergoes chemotherapy to kill most of the cancer cells, Biovest collects and purifies the patient’s antigen proteins, which, after chemical modification, form the active ingredient of the custom vaccine. The individualized vaccine is then sent back to the doctor, who injects it into the patient five times over six months. (mlbcalendar.com)

According to Dr. Carl M. Cohen, Biovest Chief Operating Officer,

Typical treatments for non-Hodgkin’s do not specifically target the tumor. Our vaccine trains the patient’s immune system to target a specific protein on the tumor cells-one found only on the tumor cells. BiovaxID only kills cancer cells. If you think of chemotherapy as a blunt instrument, our treatment is like tweezers. (mlbcalendar.com)

So far, trials are going well for BiovaxID. A study that began 10 years ago at the National Cancer Institute consisted of 20 patients. The results showed a 95% survival rate. They are currently undergoing large-scale phase 3 clinical trials. To read more about this, click here.


Posted October 7, 2010 by lymphomactivist in Uncategorized

3 responses to “NHL Vaccine?

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  1. This sounds so cool! I hope one day we move away from chemo and radiation therapies. They are so harmful to the body, and miserable to go through. Enhanced targeting of cancer cells seems so much more appropriate.

  2. While secondary data compilation continues the Phase 3 trial mentioned in this article has been completed with positive results.

    “The completed Phase III study achieved its primary endpoint of prolonging disease-free survival in patients who were vaccinated with at least one injection of BiovaxID as compared to patients who received control. In the study, 177 patients with follicular lymphoma who had achieved a complete response to PACE (prednisone, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide) chemotherapy were randomized to the BiovaxID vaccine (Id-KLH/GM-CSF) or to the control study arm (KLH/GM-CSF). As prospectively identified, investigators analyzed the cohort of 117 randomized patients who, as required by the study protocol, maintained a complete response to chemotherapy for at least six months and who received active (N=76) or control (N=41) vaccine. After a median follow-up of 4.71 years (56.6 months, range: 12.6 – 89.3 months), the median disease-free survival in the BiovaxID arm was 44.2 months compared with 30.6 months in the control arm, which is a clinically and statistically significant difference (p=0.045).”

    The company is scheduled to officially emerge from bankruptcy in November 2010 and is pursuing the Biologic Licensing Application process with the FDA.

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