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Very Own Vaccine

A personalized vaccine has been able to bolster the immune response among women with ovarian cancer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere collected dendritic cells from patients and coaxed the dendritic cells to better recognize and attack cells from the patients' own tumors before returning the dendritic cells to the patients, the Times adds. The researchers write in Science Translational Medicine this week that they administered these personalized vaccines to patients alone, with bevacizumab, or with bevacizumab and cyclophosphamide.

The researchers report in their study that 392 vaccine doses were given without adverse effects. First author Jano Tanyi from UPenn tells the LA Times that the vaccine appears safe and that the worst side effects reported were tiredness or flu-like symptoms.

He and his colleagues also reported in their paper that the vaccine induced T cell response to tumor antigens, which they note was associated with longer survival. Of the 10 women who received the vaccine alongside bevacizumab and cyclophosphamide, eight were alive after two years, the LA Times adds, while half of the 56 women in a historic control group who received chemotherapy alone were alive after two years.