Prostate cancer vaccine proves effective in mice

A prostate cancer vaccine developed at the University of Southern California was able to prevent the disease in 90 percent of mice engineered to develop cancer. And the scientists say that the same approach offers real potential for men with rising levels of prostate specific antigens, or PSA, a biomarker for the disease. The two-course vaccine approach is designed to spark an immune response against prostate stem cell antigen, the protein target of some therapeutic vaccines now under development.

"By early vaccination, we have basically given these mice life-long protection against a disease they were destined to have," said the study's lead investigator, W. Martin Kast, Ph.D., a professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This has never been done before and, with further research, could represent a paradigm shift in the management of human prostate cancer."

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