Melanoma Vaccine Study Offers Hope

TAMPA - Florida scientists recently took part in a national clinical trial that could lead to the first-ever vaccine for people with advanced melanoma. The study found that the therapy could increase life expectancy for patients, who have the aggressive form of skin cancer. [audio:http://eunalhee.com/wp-content/uploads/Lhee_melanoma.mp3|titles=melanoma|artists=Lhee]

Patients who got the vaccine, combined with another immune-boosting drug, lived around six months longer, on average. The University of South Florida was the only place in the sunshine state that participated in the national trial.

Researcher Douglas Reintgen said this was the first study of its kind.

"This is the first vaccine study that is actually a positive study that showed a benefit," Reintgen said. "Likewise, there’s no vaccine approved to treat patients."

Reintgen said he would like to combine the vaccine with other drugs in a future clinical trial.

The findings from this study are published in this month’s New England Journal of Medicine. [HealthyState.org | FPR Spot]