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Dr. Carvajal on Vaccine Challenges in Cancer Therapy

Richard D. Carvajal, MD
Published: Monday, Apr 06, 2015



Richard D. Carvajal, MD, Director, Experimental Therapeutics and Melanoma Service New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the challenge of using vaccines for cancer therapy.

Vaccines have been explored in cancer for over 100 years, but incorporating them has been difficult, says Carvajal.

Numerous phase 2 trials have shown positive results, but many phase 3 vaccine trials have been negative. This is often due to a vaccine achieving the intended result on the immune system, but that result not translating into an anti-cancer response, explains Carvajal. Reasons for this vary, but include the target antigen not being immunologically relevant.


Richard D. Carvajal, MD, Director, Experimental Therapeutics and Melanoma Service New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the challenge of using vaccines for cancer therapy.

Vaccines have been explored in cancer for over 100 years, but incorporating them has been difficult, says Carvajal.

Numerous phase 2 trials have shown positive results, but many phase 3 vaccine trials have been negative. This is often due to a vaccine achieving the intended result on the immune system, but that result not translating into an anti-cancer response, explains Carvajal. Reasons for this vary, but include the target antigen not being immunologically relevant.



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