Beacon Health System * Lighting the Way to Wellness - The nonprofit parent organization of Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, providing world-class care throughout North Central Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

Memorial Regional Cancer Center Enrolling Patients in Groundbreaking Prostate Cancer, and Breast Cancer Vaccine Trials

South Bend, Ind. – Memorial Regional Cancer Center (MRCC), is currently enrolling patients in two national cancer vaccine clinical trials. These are the first cancer vaccine clinical trials that have been offered at MRCC and are available nowhere else in the Michiana region.

Few cancer vaccines, or vaccine trials, are currently available; and those that are available primarily take place at large academic medical centers.  MRCC is able to offer these opportunities in Michiana in part due to the work done by Thomas Reid III, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director of Memorial Regional Cancer Center, and his previous work at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Washington, D.C.) and MedStar Health (Baltimore, MD).

Breast Cancer Vaccine Clinical Trial

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer related death among women in the United States, accounting for 40,000 deaths per year; just behind lung cancer. Primary (surgery)  and adjuvant (radiation, chemotherapy, endocrine) therapies can cure most but not all early stage invasive breast cancer. Better therapies to treat women with early stage breast cancer but with a high risk of recurrence despite the best available treatment are needed. One new investigational approach is immunotherapy, which is treatment with the goal of stimulating a patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy breast cancer cells and is offered on completion of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

A new study is testing the development of an anti-cancer vaccine (NeuVax) to find out if this vaccine will reduce the chance of cancer recurrence in women with early stage invasive breast cancer who have a high risk of the cancer returning. The trial is 36 months with 40 visits over this three-year period. A description of the study can be found at http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov under National Clinical Trial No. 01570036.

Prostate Cancer Vaccine Clinical Trial

Nearly one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind lung cancer. In fact, 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year alone.

MRCC is offering eligible patients participation in the PROSPECT study, which evaluates the potential effectiveness of an investigational vaccine-based immunotherapy for metastatic prostate cancer. The investigational vaccine is administered through a series of injections over a period of five months and is designed to teach the body’s immune system to recognize and destroy prostate cancer cells. This study is for men with metastatic prostate cancer whose disease has progressed on hormonal (androgen deprivation) therapy and who are looking for additional treatment options. A description of the study can be found at http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov under National Clinical Trial No. 01322490.

For more information, please call 574-647-1100.