A group of researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and the University of California San Diego Health are currently working on a specific vaccine that is particular for each patient. The vaccine is aimed to be created specifically –as per the specific mutations as well as the immune system of the patient. The researchers are currently conducting a clinical trial that is applicable to those patients only who have metastatic cancer.
Tamara Strauss –Waiting for Her Cancer Vaccine Trial
Tamara Strauss has been undergoing the clinical trials of the cancer vaccine that aims at halting the spreading of metastatic cancer. She cannot wait to take her therapy dog –Luna, for hospital visits. She is currently undergoing the trials at the University of California San Diego Health. She is the first-ever patient to receive the clinical trial for observing the results of the vaccination.
Tamara has fought pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer twice in her life. Now, the cancer is back, and it is on Stage 4. The doctors treating Tamara say that every case of cancer patient out there is different as everyone tends to have a unique immune system. Therefore, the doctors are treating her differently. Dr. Ezra Cohen –associate director of translational science at Moores Cancer Center, University of California San Diego Health, says, “When we think about curing patients having metastatic diseases –like advanced cancer, then we are required to design therapies that are highly personalized.”
Tamara’s Test with Vaccine
The team of researchers went forward with testing the tumor of Tamara and came across neoantigens or mutations that her immune system was responding to properly. The researchers then cultured the neo-antigens with T-cells of Tamara –giving her a series of three vaccines. As the researchers feared that T-cells would approach the tumor and get deactivated, they went forward with adding Keytruda. Keytruda performs the job of keeping the T-cells from getting deactivated once they approach the tumor. Therefore, once this is achieved, the T-cells can move forward with destroying the cancer cells. While Tamara has been receiving the particular treatment for only 4 months now, a mid-treatment CT-scan has turned out quite promising. As such, the team of researchers can look forward to finding hope in this vaccine-promoted treatment of cancer.