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smilingoldcoot
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/19/2008 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
You might describe Dr. Jorge Galante as the ultimate educated medical consumer.

The 73-year-old orthopedic surgeon has been dealing with prostate cancer for a decade. After two years of conventional treatment, including surgery and radiation, his cancer recurred.

The Chicago resident went searching for an alternative to undergoing more of the same treatment.

His search brought him to a clinical trial involving immunotherapy now under way at Shands at the University of Florida, under the direction of Dr. Johannes Vieweg, professor and chairman of the department of urology.

Galante flies to Florida once a week to receive an injection of an experimental vaccine that enlists his body's own cells in the battle against cancer.

Every year, 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that Florida will rank behind only California and Texas in the number of new cases diagnosed this year.

Vieweg brought his studies of the potential prostate cancer vaccine with him from Duke University when he joined the UF College of Medicine faculty in 2006.

He says the customized therapy overcomes many of the obstacles and side effects of other forms of cancer treatment because it uses the patient's own cells.

Blood is drawn from the patient and the dendritic cells are isolated from the white blood cells. They are then genetically manipulated to detect the antigens that mark tumor cells before being reinjected into the patient.

Antigens are protein fragments produced by invaders such as viruses or bacteria that trigger an attack by the immune system. Vieweg characterizes them as "a red flag" at the surface of tumor cells.

The antigen telomerase is overexpressed in prostate cancer and other human cancers, Vieweg explained.

Dendritic cells activate the immune system by capturing the antigen - in this case, telomerase - and presenting it to the body's killer cells, called T cells.

The custom-made vaccine is prepared in a $4 million "clean room" in the UF Cancer and Genetics Research Building. It's not a vaccine in the traditional sense. A patient can't get a shot or two and prevent cancer. But it does enlist the body's immune system to battle against cancerous cells.

"We have something unique here," Vieweg said.

Because the dendritic cells can be programmed to seek out tumor cells with pinpoint accuracy, they can combat cancer without causing further harm to the body, unlike radiation or chemotherapy.

Could be widely used

The strategy being tested in the current clinical trial is not limited to prostate or kidney cancer, but is potentially applicable to all cancers, in Vieweg's view.

"We just haven't done the studies to determine which forms of cancer respond best to this therapy," the researcher said. "I'd have to say we're almost there."

"Almost there" is close enough for Galante.

As part of the clinical trial, Galante is helping to prove that the vaccine is safe and effective for use by others.

But for him, the immediate benefit is that he is able to lead a normal life.

"I have a wife, children and four grandchildren whom I want to see grow up," Galante said. "I have been waiting for this vaccine to come on line."

Diane Chun can be reached at 352-374-5041 or chund@gvillesun.com

Richard yeah tongue yeah


Retired USAF Richard & Debbie on The Shores of Toledo Bend Lake Louisiana
Biospy 1/10/08 Gleason 10, Stage T1C  8 of 12 samples positive all Less Than 5% 
U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute
5/2/2008 LUPRON & Casodex
IMRT to start 5/16/2008 for approx 4 weeks with Proton to follow for approx 4 weeks
Turn Stumbling Blocks into Steping Stones and Keep Smiling
Our Journey is on WWW.GLEASON10.COM
 


Magaboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1210
   Posted 5/19/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
This sounds almost to good to be true! It would be a God send if it's true and could be made available to the general population in the not too distant future.
Thanks for the article.
 
Magaboo


Born Sept., 1936
PSA 7.9
Stage T1C
-ve DRE
Gleason's Score 3+4=7
2 of 8 positive
Open RP 28 Nov 06
Post op staging T3
Gleasons still 3+4=7
Seminal vesicles and lymph nodes clear
Catheter out 15 Dec 06
Dry since 11 Feb 07
All PSA tests in 2007 (4) <.04
PSA test Mar., 08 =.04 
 
 


myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 5/19/2008 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for that info, Richard.

Maybe Shands will give us Floridians a residents pass! tongue

I wish you all the best...

Susan
Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 PSA: 7.96 No Symptoms
2/09/06: LRP - Post Pathology - Gleason 4+3 Stage T2b NO MX
3 mo. PSA: 11.8 Stage T3a
6 mo. PSA: 18.8 Stage IV Systemic w/ distant lymph node involvement
Start HT - Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07: PSA 0.3
PSA - Undetectable since 6/07/07

Link to journey:
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=826731


positivelife
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 5/19/2008 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the article. A treatment that does not attack the good cells and weaken the body looks perfect. Hope it will be available to us all in the not too distant future
Dx Age 48 Nov 07
PRE OP
Psa 4.5, Biopsy 2/8 cores positive Gleason 3+3
No perineural or lymphovascular invasion in the biopsy specimen.
Rushed to RRP without much research- Jan 08

POST OP
Geason 3+3 ,10% both lobes, There is perineurial invasion
No extraprostatic spread seen , Seminal vesicles normal,Nerves spared
Cancer close to apex but margins clear T2c NXMX
Incontinence pretty bad until April 08- suddenly down to 1 pad
ED - started cialis once every 2 or 3 days from April but no improvement
1st post op Psa <.1 (May 08)


Dutch
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 5/19/2008 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   

Richard:

Hope all is going OK at Shands.  Know of a doctor in our area who flies his patients out of the country for this procedure.  We need all of the treatment options we can get.   Dutch


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 72
PSA 4.8      Gleason 3+3=6      Stage   T2b
Completed Proton Therapy @ Loma Linda - 2001 - No side effects.  My journey is at: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=727565
7yr PSA - 0.2
Our responsibility now is to educate men about Pca, PSA and the importance of early detection. 
 
 
 


Gordy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 5/19/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like Provenge, which was "that close" to being approved by the FDA when 2 doctors opened their big mouths and complained that there hadn't been enough clinical trials. The FDA in its infinite wisdom told the developers to go back and do more trials. This engendered a march on Washington, to no avail.

-Les
1/2005 Dx PSA 26.5 Gleason 7 (4+3) @Age 61
1/2005 Start Casodex and Zoladex
PSA drops to <0.01
7/2005-8/2005 5 weeks of IMRT and then HDR brachy
1/2007 Rad Oncologist orders CT scan of pelvis
because of complaints of pain in both thighs
MRI confirms pain not caused by cancer BUT
1/2007 CT scan of pelvis picks up a nodule at bottom of left lung
5/2007 CT scan of lungs shows 1/2007 nodule has grown and
there are numerous nodules on both lungs.
6/2007 Thoracic surgeon removes wedge of left lung for biopsy
6/2007 Path report says 95% chance of metastatic PCa, but she's
never seen cells like this before.
8/2007 2nd opinion at M.D. Anderson in Houston.
They confirm: mutated PCa, very rare, but seen there 2 or
3 times. Recommendation: have CT scans every 6 weeks
and watch for change. At that point start chemo and will
survive for 22 - 24 months thereafter.
PSA still undetectable, but get Lupron shot to bring T down from 27
2/2008 Trip to Houston – PSA now 0.5 and nodules larger. Lupron shot.

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