The ovaries are a pair of female reproductive glands located on each side of a woman’s uterus (the organ where a baby grows and develops). Ovaries produce the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Ovaries also produce eggs (called ova). Ukraine scientist developed conduct early studies that show benefit of dendritic cell vaccine on ovarian cancer.
What is Ovarian cancer?
It is the cancer that forms in tissues of the ovaries. Ovarian cancer develops when normal ovarian cells begin to grow uncontrollably and produce malignant tumors in one or both ovaries. Some tumors are benign (non-cancerous) and do not spread beyond the ovaries. Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer in women. It is categorized by the type of cell where it originates. Epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common type of ovarian cancer. It begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary and accounts for about 90 percent of all ovarian cancers. Germ cell ovarian cancer begins in the egg-producing cells within the ovary.
Vaccine developed for ovarian cancer
Natalia Khranovska, MD, an oncologist at the National Cancer Institute of Ukraine in Kiev, established in preliminary studies that women diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer who received an autologous dendritic cell vaccine appear to achieve extended survival benefits.
What did the ovarian cancer vaccine study involve?
The study involved harvesting of autologous dendritic cells of monocytic origin. The cells were subjected to a process in laboratory for about eight days. The vaccine was injected in two courses, each consisting of five injections.
All patients received cytoreductive surgery and six courses of polychemotherapy on a regimen of cisplatin 100mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 800 mg/m2.
What were the main results of the study?
The researcher found that :
- One-year survival was about 89% in patients who received a vaccine pulsed with lysate of tumor cells; and about 93% in the patients who received the cells pulsed with Bacillus subtilis B-7025 cytotoxic lectins (LTCCL), (P<0.05).
- Two-year survival was 20.5% in the control group, 47.8% among the lysate of tumor cell infused group and 53.1% of the LTCCL vaccine group (P<0.01).
- Three-year survival was 13.2% in the control group, 26.7% in the lysate of tumor cell group, and 39.8% of the patients receiving the LTCCL vaccine (P<0.05).
Khranovska said the dendritic vaccine was well tolerated without significant toxicity and that 95% of the patients who were given dendritic cell injections showed significant antigen-specific immune responses after three to five vaccinations.
Development of vaccines for treatment of cancer is in early stages and the promise dendritic vaccine has shown looks like a step in the right direction. Hopefully, researchers can conduct bigger clinical trial and make the vaccine available for use in coming years.