Daily Archives: April 17, 2012

Anti-myeloma vaccine trial data…

At the beginning of April, Vaxil BioTherapeutics released the interim results from its Phase I and II vaccine trial in multiple myeloma patients. The full shebang is available online for free, so I don’t need to do much…commenting (though I probably will, hehe): http://goo.gl/ec1ZI

The vaccine, called ImMucin, targets something called MUC1 (the “Muc” in “ImMucin”!) = a gene that can cause cancer also known as an “oncoprotein.” As we can read in the above-mentioned press release, MUC1 is present in 90% of all tumors. OF ALL TUMORS. Myeloma, too, of course. Myeloma cells thrive on MUC1…but when this oncoprotein is blocked, they all die (see this Dana Farber 2012 study, e.g.: http://goo.gl/zmvNR). A no-brainer, eh…

I’ve already written about this vaccine (see my January 19 2012 “apigenin” post: http://goo.gl/X01ht), mainly because apigenin—a natural compound found mainly in celery and parsley—also inhibits MUC1…How about that? So hey, this is something we can all do…I mean, while waiting for more info to be released, it can’t hurt to increase our intake of celery and other apigenin-containing foods (but please be careful about eating too much parsley, which could be toxic in high doses…My above-mentioned post includes a bunch of warnings, so please have a look at it first…). 

Back to the Vaxil press release now. Only seven multiple myeloma patients have thus far been treated with the ImMucin vaccine. And here are the preliminary results: the vaccine has a very high safety profile. No side effects were observed with the exception of minor local irritation which all resolved themselves within 24 hours without the need for any additional treatment or medical intervention. Sounds good…

And, after only being given 2-4 doses (out of 12), all the patients had a robust and specific immune response. Indeed, some of the patients’ cancer markers stabilized or even decreased. And three out of seven patients are in complete response now. No news on how the four others are doing, though. But this is a press release whose main goal seems to be that of announcing a company merger, so I suppose the lack of medical details is to be expected.

Now here is a really interesting…and important titbit: Firstly, ImMucin can be offered to a very wide section of the population with no need for complicated and expensive personalization or prior selection based on the patient’s immune system. Second, ImMucin has the ability that may enable it to cope with the tendency of the tumor to evade the immune response and develop resistance to treatment. Aha!

Well, that’s what we know so far. It looks very good on paper, but of course we have to keep in mind that the vaccine producers themselves are releasing their own data. So before getting too excited, I’d like to see some independent trial data. Still…

Fingers crossed! :)

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that my blog’s commenting problems seem to have been solved (thanks, Beth!)…shhhht, don’t let the spammers know! ;) So go ahead and post a comment, if you wish. Oh, if you notice that it isn’t published immediately, that simply means that I’m not at the computer (I have to approve all comments, you see…).