Feedback – The GVAX Cancer Vaccine Trial at the Dana Farber

Dear ASPS community. As you probably know, the GVAX cancer vaccine clinical trial has been open since January 2006 and is still recruiting new patients. In addition to Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma, it also recruits Clear Cell Sarcoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma patients.

I would like to share with you an e-mail from a parent whose child, a clear cell sarcoma patient participated in the GVAX clinical trial. I hope that this e-mail will encourage other patients on that trial to tell us about their own experience in this trial. For comments and further discussion please click on: Forum, Dana Farber Cancer Vaccine Clinical Trial (GVAX).

“I have been a reader of the iCureASPS website since its inception. Thank you so much for the hard work and efforts. My child was diagnosed five years ago with Clear Cell Sarcoma (CCS) and he was selected to participate in the GVAX cancer vaccine trial at the Dana Farber in Boston.

He was diagnosed in 2002. His primary tumor of 3.5 cm was located in the left upper thigh. At that time signs of tumor spread were not evident except for one 2mm lung nodule that could be scar tissue from past unrelated sickness. Surgery to remove the primary tumor was the only treatment option which was recommended for him.

BUT – in February of 2006, the cancer was found growing in two lymph nodes. In addition to the 2mm lung nodule that remained unchanged, three new nodules were found as well. Their dimensions were of 6mm, 4mm and 3mm. My child never had radiation or chemotherapy. The doctors thought that he was an “ideal” candidate for the GVAX cancer vaccine clinical trial because his immune system was intact. The doctors used the two affected lymph nodes for the preparation of the cancer vaccine.

I am very glad to report that today after 13 GVAX injections since February 2006 the 4mm lung tumor disappeared. The 3mm tumor remains unchanged and no new tumors have been discovered. The 6mm lung nodule was removed in August 2006, six months into the clinical trial. Analysis of that tumor showed T-cell infiltration, which may indicate an enhanced immune response against the tumor.

The GVAX injections caused no side effects except for redness around the injection site that would last for about a week after each injection followed by some itching. The next scans for my child will be taken in November 07. Thank you so much for the hard work you’ve done. I would like also to say that I find the doctors at Dana Farber wonderful people.”

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Yosef Landesman, Ph.D.
President & Cancer Research Director
Cure Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma International (iCureASPS)
e-mail: landesmany@yahoo.com