Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Finally A Cure For Skin Cancer
A vaccine which was originally developed to combat the herpes virus attacks cancerous tumors causing skin cancer, a therapy helping patients to fully cure from melanoma, according to some American researchers, even at an advanced stage,
What has really surprised and encouraged us was to see that this vaccine Onco VEX did not addressed only to cells that were injected, but worked on cells in other parts of the body that we could not reach, said Dr. Howard Kaufman from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. In other words, the vaccine triggered an immune response that spreads throughout the body thanks to the bloodstream.
Mr. Kaufman is now well prepared to launch a Phase III clinical trials, which will involved 430 patients across the United States. During Phase II, fifty patients with melanoma at the stage of metastasis have been vaccinated. Eight of them have fully recovered and four partially responded positively to the treatment.
Few treatment options
There are currently only very few treatment options for patients with advanced melanoma cancers, and none of them are satisfactory. Therefore, oncologists are enthusiastic about the results we had in phase II of our research, commented M. Kaufman. In 2008, some 4.600 Canadians have received a diagnosis of melanoma cancers, and more than 900 people have died of that disease, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
About 1.2 percent of all deaths from cancer in Canada are due to melanoma. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, melanoma is not attributable to a single cause, but some factors increase the risk of developing the disease: Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or other artificial sources of UV light; moles of irregular forms, or thicker or darker than normal moles, large quantity of moles (over 50); light color eyes or light color hair; skin that burns easily or freckled skin; personal history or family history of melanoma; severe sunburns during childhood.
In particular with the treatments offered today including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy around 90 percent of melanoma cases are cured if treated quickly.
Twenty doses have to be received
When the disease is only superficial, the lesions can easily be removed during a biopsy. But if the cancer is progressing, the worse prognosis of survival are averaging from six months to two years.
The vaccine can be injected directly into the lesion, with or without ultrasound. This procedure is usually done in the doctor's office and includes several injections every two weeks for a total of 24 doses.
Patients who participated in the study have been followed for two years after receiving the treatments and seems to be completely cured of the disease.
By: rodolphe cote
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