Cancer Vaccine: November 2006 Archives

Govt to fund Gardasil vaccine


gardasil The World Today (interview)
Reporter: Gillian Bradford

ELEANOR HALL: After weeks of toing and froing, the Federal Government has announced it will now fund the cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, from next year.

Health Minister Tony Abbott initially said the vaccine couldn't be available until at least 2008, but under pressure from the Coalition's own backbench, the Prime Minister intervened to force a faster process.

The vaccine will be targeted at 12 and 13-year-old school girls and the Health Minister Tony Abbott says the Government has extracted the best price from the drug manufacturer after weeks of negotiation.

AVAX tests metastatic melanoma vaccine


avaxPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. firm AVAX Technologies said Wednesday it is cleared to launch a phase 3 study of its metastatic melanoma vaccine, M-Vax.

The trial will enroll as many as 387 patients with stage IV melanoma at sites in the United States, Europe and Australia. Patients will be randomized in a 2-1 ratio to receive either M-Vax or placebo.

The study will measure best overall anti-tumor response rate and the percentage of patients surviving two years, AVAX said.

cancer vaccineImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd., which was formerly known as Optical Molecular Imaging, Inc. ("ICT"), announced today that it has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center covering Cedars-Sinai's technology for cellular therapies, including dendritic cell-based vaccines for brain tumors and other cancers, as well as other neurodegenerative disorders. The technology is covered by patent applications that have been filed in the United States.

Dendritic cell-based vaccines may bolster the body's natural tendency to defend itself against various forms of cancer. ICT's first product candidate will be a vaccine for treating malignant brain tumors. The high rate of mortality of patients diagnosed with brain cancers and in particular with glioblastoma multiforme (the most lethal form) is driving the scientific community to develop improved treatments to increase the survival time and enhance the quality of life of patients. More than 17,000 cases of glioblastoma are diagnosed each year in the United States. There currently is no satisfactory treatment and two-year survival rates are only in the range of 26%.

GSKTHE cervical cancer vaccine being held out as an alternative to Gardasil may offer much longer-lasting protection, according to its maker.

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is trying to stop the Government agreeing to a vaccination program using only Gardasil, says its treatment, Cervarix, has the strength to protect women vaccinated at school until they turn 55.

New vaccine shows promise against deadly brain tumors


glioma Washington, Nov. 17 (ANI): A vaccine for treating a recurrent cancer of the central nervous system that occurs primarily in the brain, known as glioma, may activate a tumour-specific immune response in the body, reveals preliminary data from a clinical trial at UCSF Medical Centre.

Tests conducted on the first group of six patients at the UCSF Brain Tumour Research Centre show that vitespen, a vaccine made from the patient's own tumour, was associated with tumour-specific immune response in patients with recurrent, high-grade glioma.

Glioma is a type of primary tumour that arises from the glial cells, the connective tissue cells that surround and support nerve cells. The most common site of involvement of a glioma is the brain. Malignant glioma is currently a fatal disease.

New vaccine to fight cancer


TNF-alpha proteinBritish researchers have developed a vaccine that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight off cancerous cells.

In a clinical trial of 67 colorectal cancer patients, University of Nottingham scientists found that when the vaccines were administered before and after tumour removal surgery, immune cell production increased in 70 per cent of the volunteers.
"This is the first vaccine shown to stimulate TNF-alpha – an immune-system protein that is very effective at killing cancer cells," said Lindy Durrant, senior author of the study and professor of cancer immunotherapy at the university.

Gardasil cheaper


gardasilDrug company CSL will today cut its asking price for cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil in a renewed bid to secure public subsidies.

CSL chief executive Brian McNamee has cut short a trip to the US to attend a meeting with Department of Health officials in the hope of reversing last week's rejection of the vaccine's listing on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

The vaccine, developed by Australian of the Year Ian Frazer, protects women against cervical cancer.

source - The Australian News

Vaccine 'tackles kidney cancer'

Oxford BiomedicaA vaccine which uses the body's immune system to attack an aggressive form of kidney cancer has completely eradicated one patient's tumour.

The TroVax vaccine, made by Oxford Biomedica, has been given to 150 patients so far in clinical trials.

Another two patients have seen their tumours shrink, and a further 15 have been stable for at least three months.

UK cancer experts said the data, presented at a conference in Prague, showed TroVax was effective.

US success raises fresh hope of a vaccination for cancer

lab miceMice vaccinated with stem cells have proved to be resistant to lung cancer.

The findings, announced yesterday at a conference in Prague, suggest the possibility of developing embryonic stem-cell vaccines that prevent cancers in humans.

John Eaton, of the University of Louisville, told the meeting that the vaccinations were 80 to 100 per cent effective in preventing cancer growth in mice after they had been given transplanted tumours. The vaccinations had also proved 60 to 90 per cent effective in mice exposed to the carcinogens that caused lung cancer.

PM vows to subsidise cervical cancer vaccine


PM John Howard (c) getty imagesGardasil got rejected a subsidy in Australia due to the high cost of the vaccine. However today the australian Prime Minister voiced his wish to change that decision. In other words, the australian taxpayers will ensure the profit of pharmaceutical corporation. Right?

Here is an interview transcript from The World Today:

ELEANOR HALL: The Prime Minister John Howard has now declared that a new vaccine for cervical cancer will be subsidised, despite the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommending against it.

Mr Howard says the Government will provide funding for the vaccine, it's just a question of when. The Prime Minister was responding to widespread outrage this morning from doctors and from some members of his own backbench, as Lynn Bell reports from Canberra.

Gardasil refused subsidy


gardasilAUSTRALIA - A world-first vaccine that prevents 70 per cent of cervical cancers has been knocked back from the national immunisation program, Labor said today.

The government's pharmaceutical advisory body today rejected an application from Australian manufacturer CSL to have the vaccine Gardasil available free to all females aged 12 to 26.

Australian-designed Gardasil halts the spread of sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes 70 per cent of cervical cancer.

Aussie company in cancer vaccine race


replikun biotechAn Australian company is in a global race to produce a vaccine for diseases such as HIV and cancer.

The privately-owned company Replikun Biotech Pty Ltd has used the kunjin virus, found in mosquitoes from the wet tropics region of north Queensland, to make an injectable vaccine after processing with gene technology.

Replikun Biotech says laboratory testing has yielded promising results and the company has now reached the stage where the vaccine could be tested on monkeys, and if that is successful, on humans.

Replikun Biotech chief executive Shane Storey said the class of vaccines under development activated parts of the immune system which conventional vaccines could not kick-start.

GARDASIL added to CDC Vaccines for Children Contract


gardasilWHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck & Co., Inc. today announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added Mercks cervical cancer vaccine, GARDASIL® [Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (Types 6, 11, 16, 18) Recombinant Vaccine] to the CDCs Vaccines for Children (VFC) contract for girls and women aged 9 to 18. GARDASIL was approved on June 8 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in girls and women ages 9 to 26 years. GARDASIL is the worlds first and only vaccine available for the prevention of HPV types 16- and 18-related cervical cancer, cervical pre-cancers (CIN 2/3 and AIS), vulvar pre-cancers (VIN 2/3) and vaginal pre-cancers (VaIN 2/3) and for the prevention of genital warts and low-grade cervical lesions (CIN 1) caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18.

"The addition of GARDASIL to the VFC program is a very positive step towards protecting the future health of girls and young women in this country against cervical cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18," said Mark Feinberg, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, Policy, Public Health and Medical Affairs in the Merck Vaccine Division. "Inclusion of GARDASIL in the VFC program, coupled with private insurance coverage and Merck's Vaccine Patient Assistance Program, represent important means to facilitate broad and equitable access to GARDASIL."