2002 report

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2002 report - Cancer in Kids @ RCH - CIKA

In the winter of 2002, Dr David Ashley reported on the vaccine programme as follows.

I am pleased to report that, through your sponsorship of our vaccine program, we have now been able to successfully implement three early phase studies of this technology in Outpatients. There have been 15 patients treated so far on three protocols, those with newly diagnosed neuroblastoma, a group with high risk solid tumours of childhood, and recurrent high risk brain tumours of childhood. The results to date have clearly demonstrated that we have the technical capability and are able to produce the vaccines at the highest level of quality required for human trials. This is no small undertaking, as it has required much manpower from both Denise Caruso, our post doctoral scientist and Alana Gardiner, who have been funded by Bluey Day.

In addition to the feasibility and technical aspects, we have been able to show that the administration of Dendritic Cell anti-cancer vaccines to patients is safe and has not been associated with any adverse events.

One of the secondary aims of the program to-date has been to measure the patient's immune responses and their general immune capabilities. It is clear from these studies that many of our patients enrolled on our vaccines trials are still suffering from the effects of previous treatment and have immune deficits related to this. As well, a number of patients with active turnouts show abnormalities in their immune system despite the fact that they have not had any recent therapy. These abnormalities almost certainly relate to the cancer itself. These immune problems will certainly serve as barriers to the effectiveness of the vaccine therapy and it is our intention to focus on understanding the nature of these problems in order to better formulate appropriate vaccines and come up with a rational vaccination schedule. These studies will form the basis of our research in the next few years.

Once again, I can only thank CIKA on behalf of children with cancer and the Department of Haematology/Oncology for your generous support of this program. Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

A/Professor David M Ashley
MBSS PhD FRACP, Director