Press Release From The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
March 5, 2007
Contact: Candace Botnick
Phone: (732) 235-9871
Could a Vaccine Prevent the Reoccurrence of Prostate Cancer?
NEW BRUNSWICK — One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, other than skin cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey are currently investigating a new way to help prevent prostate cancer from reoccurring through the development of a vaccine for the disease.
Robert DiPaola, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is the lead researcher on a national study that is testing the effectiveness of an investigational vaccine for prostate cancer. The vaccine is an injection of a carrier virus modified to produce a protein that is present on prostate cancer cells, the prostate specific antigen (PSA). The modified carrier virus contains the gene necessary to produce PSA as well as the genes needed to produce three other proteins that are known to further enhance the immune system called TRICOM. Dr. DiPaola’s clinical study will test a new way of treating prostate cancer using this new vaccine that may help the immune system in the patient’s body to kill the prostate cancer cells. This new approach involves a series of several vaccinations using two different vaccines and treatment with a growth factor, GM-CSF that may enhance the vaccine’s effect on the immune system.
Prostate cancer patients whose PSA increased after they had received local therapy with either surgery or radiation therapy may be eligible for the study, if they are not on hormonal therapy, have not demonstrated metastasis on x-rays, and they meet other eligibility criteria. For additional information on how to participate in the study, individuals should call 732-235-8092.
“It is our hope that through clinical trials, we will continue to develop new therapies so that eventually men with prostate cancer will no longer live with the anxiety of a reoccurrence,” stated Dr. Robert DiPaola. “My colleagues and I at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey continue to study ways to both treat and prevent cancer so that we can eventually reduce an individual’s risk of developing this deadly disease,” he continued.
Cancer clinical trials are medical studies that test new treatments and new ways of using existing treatments for cancer. At CINJ, researchers use these clinical trials to answer questions about a treatment and to make sure it is safe and effective. There are several types of clinical trials including treatment, prevention, screening and behavioral that are currently underway at CINJ. As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients at CINJ have access to treatment options not available at other institutions within the state. CINJ currently enrolls more than 1,000 patients in clinical trials or approximately 15% of all new adult cancer patients and approximately 70% of all pediatric cancer patients on clinical trials. Enrollment in clinical trials nationwide is only 2% to 4% of all adult cancer patients.
In 2007 the American Cancer Society estimates that 218,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States with 27,050 dying from their disease. It is estimated that in New Jersey, 8,070 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed with 750 dying from their disease in 2007.
About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice-quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To support CINJ, please call The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation at 1-888-333-CINJ.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Partner Hospitals: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Atlantic Health System (Morristown Memorial Hospital, Mountainside Hospital, Overlook Hospital). Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, Cooper University Hospital*, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, JFK Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ-Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School,* and University Medical Center at Princeton. (*Academic Affiliate)
About the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
UMDNJ is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.