Surprise, Surprise

Consider this failure. Why would anyone think that a cancer vaccine would work any better than an AIDS vaccine? In both cases, the immune system has already repeatedly failed to do its job, meaning it is known to be weak. Supplying patient-compatible potent exogenous antibodies and exogenous antibody producing cells would seem to be the only reasonable approach. Even then, expect that the patient’s seriously messed up immune system may target these antibodies and cells rather than the tumor or HIV.

“Melanoma Cancer Vaccine Fails

2013-09-06 14:00


In a cancer vaccine setback, the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced yesterday that an immunotherapy it had been testing in a phase III trial had flopped. The company is holding out hope, however, that some patients with a certain genetic signature will still be helped, and the trial is continuing.

The treatment “did not significantly extend disease-free survival … when compared to placebo” in volunteers with melanoma, the London-based company stated bluntly in its press release. Called MAGE-A3, the vaccine targets proteins by the same name that are expressed on tumor cells in a subset of patients. It’s supposed to stimulate the immune system to destroy those cells.”


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