Lymphoma Vaccine

In lymphoma treatment, a lymphoma vaccine refers to a type of immunotherapy that treats the cancer by enlisting the patient's own immune system to fight a pre-existing lymphoma. In other words, a lymphoma vaccine is not a preventive vaccine; it is not created to prevent the development of lymphoma in a person without lymphoma. Rather, it is a therapeutic vaccine individually designed to treat a patient's individual disease.

The long-term hope is that such a vaccine would not only treat an existing lymphoma, but that it would provide the immune system with the ability to respond to a similar development in the future.

Lymphoma Vaccine Types

There are four types in development:

  • Idiotype: This is the most common of the four types. It works by creating a vaccine in the lab out of a sample of the patient's tumor biopsy, one that will instigate a response from the body's immune system.
  • Dendritic cell: This type comes from dendritic cells taken from the patient's blood and combined with a sample of the patient's tumor biopsy.
  • Tumor cell: This type combines an immuno-stimulant with parts of the patient's tumor.
  • Heat shock protein: This type uses tumor cells that have been broken apart, purified, and combined with a immune system stimulant.

Lymphoma Vaccine Availability

To date, all types of a lymphoma vaccine are either experimental or in various stages of clinical trials. This is despite the reality that such vaccines have been in development for over two decades. There is no FDA approved lymphoma vaccine at this time, and patients interested in a lymphoma vaccine should speak to their doctor about possible ongoing clinical trials and whether they might qualify.

Sources

  • Lymphoma Research Foundation
  • Biovest International

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