[MOL] Genetic Vaccine helps immune system fight cancer.... [00125] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Genetic Vaccine helps immune system fight cancer....

Genetic Vaccine Helps Immune System Fight Cancer

      Enhancing the body's immune system may help it more effectively destroy abnormal cells, including cancer cells, researchers say.
      Dr. H. Kim Lyerly and Eli Gilboa from Duke University's Center for Genetic and Cellular Therapies in Durham, N.C., are studying the safety and efficacy of a new immune system therapy called a genetic vaccine.
      The vaccine is tailored to the individual and that person's cancer, researchers say. Instead of boosting the immune system overall, the vaccine creates a precise attack on a particular abnormal cell growth.
      Most tumor cells are practically invisible to the immune system, but by using some of a cancer cell's own genetic makeup in the vaccine, it was harder for cancer cells to hide from the immune system.
      Researchers say this treatment is safe for the elderly, for people who have weaker immune systems, have undergone chemotherapy and have had bone marrow transplants. Unlike most vaccines, this one does not prevent cancer development, but may stop the spread of cancer or a recurrence.
--By Katrina Woznicki

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