Any type of cancer immunotherapy works better when there is less tumor burden. In other words, a cancer vaccine is most effective when there are minimal cancer cells in the body, such as after a cancer tumor is removed or after chemotherapy. There is rationale of using immunotherapy after standard of care therapy and when there is no evidence of disease. Using immunotherapy in this setting is advantageous because sometimes it is possible to have micrometastatic disease that is undetectable by modern imaging, but these cancer cells can cause a recurrence years later.
We have been using our cancer vaccine for over 20 years in our practice. We have used this cancer vaccine for solid epithelial tumors such as breast, prostate, colon, and lung. The prostate cancer vaccine ProscaVax (OncBioMune Pharmaceuticals) is currently enrolling patients to begin a Phase II trial. As we have previously published, there has been minimal side effects with the cancer vaccine, and there has been improvement in the survival of our cancer patients.
We will now show you the results of our breast cancer vaccine in a group of patients that were vaccinated from 1994 to 2006. There were 37 women with breast cancer in this study. A patent on the vaccine was granted in 1994. The results of this study were published in a peer review journal in 2013 (the full reference is listed below). The image below is taken from this article and shows there is an improvement in survival when our breast cancer patients had the cancer vaccine to boost their immune system. The cancer patients with a weakened or depressed immune system are shown in red and had a decrease in their survival. The cancer patients who got the cancer vaccine are shown in blue and they had a better survival as compared to the red line.
(Elliott & Head, 2013)
The vaccine improved the disease specific survival of the patients that had depressed lymphocyte immunity to their own tumor.
We believe that probably all patients with any kind of cancer should have an autologous vaccine in the adjuvant setting after completion of standard of care therapy.
Adjuvant cancer immunotherapy may possibly prevent recurrence and improve survival in certain patients with cancer.
Robert L. Elliott, M.D., Ph.D. and Catherine C. Baucom, M.D., Ph.D.
(Elliott RL and Head JF. 2013. Adjuvant breast cancer vaccine improves specific survival of breast cancer patients with depressed lymphocyte immunity. Surgical Oncology. 22:172-177.)
Here is the link to purchase the journal article: