|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
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Michigan Oncology Journal Summer 1998
Advancements in Clinical and Basic Science Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Laurence H. Baker, D.O.
Assistant EditorMaria McKinney White
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From the EditorTraditionally, cancer therapy began with surgery, followed by radiation therapy, followed by chemotherapy. Now we can add biologic agents to the armamentarium of the cancer physician. This issue of Michigan Oncology Journal highlights important new developments at the University of Michigan Cancer Center.
For well over a decade, Fred Chang has been an international leader in the development of adoptive immunotherapy strategies for patients with renal cancer and patients with malignant melanoma. In this article, he reviews the requirements for successful adoptive immunotherapy strategies in patients by highlighting the principles learned from the appropriate animal models. CT scans of patients illustrate the effectiveness of this strategy. Jim Mulé has brought a new technology and strategy to Ann Arbor with the use of dendritic cells as the principal ingredient for a cancer vaccine. Dendritic cells are called the professional antigen-presenting cells because of the effectiveness with which these cells present antigens to lymphocytes and induce immunologic response. Currently this strategy is being explored in patients with breast cancer. Another strategy under investigation is described by Joe Uberti from our bone marrow and stem cell transplant program. Recent studies suggest that high-dose chemotherapy stem cell support for patients with widely disseminated cancer, such as breast cancer, is not as effective as initially published. Dr. Ubertis strategy immunizes patients with a dendritic cell vaccine, thus immunizing patients against their own tumor post-bone marrow transplant. Still another strategy using dendritic cells is described by Bruce Redman. Flt3-Ligand is a new cytokine that not only stimulates the proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells but also significantly increases the natural production of dendritic cells. It is under evaluation by Dr. Redman and colleagues, in cooperation with M.D. Anderson Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center.
For years, we have heard researchers present new findings with the hope that they would lead to better patient outcomes. Recently, we have heard translational as the buzzword or mantra for clinical research. The trials described in this issue of MOJ are exciting and represent a new direction based, in part, on improving natures own way of dealing with adversity. Hopefully, translational research doesnt necessarily mean from the laboratory to the clinic, but rather from adversity to success.
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