Vaccine May Treat Lung Cancer
Experimental Vaccine Shows Promise in Some Early-Stage Lung Cancer
WebMD News Archive
Immunotherapy vs. Chemotherapy
This year in the U.S., 215,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed
and close to 162,000 people will die from the disease, according to National
Cancer Institute projections.
Surgery is the standard treatment for patients with early-stage disease, but
about 50% of patients who have surgery end up dying of their lung cancer,
He says adding chemotherapy to surgery boosts the survival rate by about
10%, a rate similar to that seen in the MAGE-A3 trial.
Last year, GlaxoSmithKline began recruitment for a phase III study of the
cancer vaccine, which will include more than 2,000 patients whose cancers
The placebo-controlled trial will include patients treated with the vaccine
both instead of and in addition to chemotherapy.
"We want to see if there is an extra benefit to adding the immunotherapy
to chemotherapy," he says.
Len Lichtenfeld, MD, of the American Cancer Center, tells WebMD that it
remains to be seen if the MAGE-A3 vaccine will prove to be a useful treatment
for lung cancer.
"The study suggests that there may be some benefit here, but clearly a
larger trial will tell us more," he tells WebMD.
He adds that it will not be clear if the immunotherapy works as well as
chemotherapy until the two treatments are compared head-to-head.
(Do you want the latest news about cancer sent directly to your inbox?
Sign up for WebMD's Cancer