BUFFALO, NY - Roswell Park Cancer Institute held a press conference this morning to announce the development of an investigational cancer vaccine.
Officials from Roswell were on hand to highlight what the vaccine can do. They say the NY-ESO-1 dendritic cell vaccine has the potential to "eradicate cancer cells and prevent disease relapse."
The new NY-ESO-1 dendritic cell vaccine is expected to show great promise in patients with bladder, brain, breast, esophageal, gastrointestinal, hepatocellular, kidney, lung, melanoma, ovarian, prostate, sarcoma and uterine tumors.
Not only will the vaccine be administered here in Buffalo, but it will also be manufactured here. Doctors say the development of the vaccine is very encouraging and it has minimal side effects.
The NY-ESO-1 vaccine, tailor-made for each patient, will be produced in RPCI's Therapeutic Cell Production Facility. Dr. Christopher Choi, director of the facility, says this is the first government-regulated study of its kind and it's the first time the vaccine will be tested in a hospital setting rather than in a medical lab. "We believe that our facility's custom-made barrier isolator, the unit in which the vaccines are manufactured, is the first of its kind," said Choi.
"This trial will be only the beginning of a very robust program of activity in the area of using the human immune system to fight cancer," said Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, director of RPCI's Center for Immunotherapy (CFI) and the study's principal investigator. "Our production process holds tremendous potential for applications related to stem-cell therapy and regenerative medicine."
Cancer patients who would like to know more about this research study can contact Roswell Park at: 1-877-275-7724 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The announcement of this cancer vaccine has Western New York's medical community talking, including Erie County's new health commissioner.
Dr. Gale Burstein's first day on the job was just Monday, having been appointed by new Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Dr. Burstein says since her focus as health commissioner is preventioner, this news is monumental. "Unfortunately we don't have the tools or the resources to effectively eradicate all cancers, and that's why we still have cancer. But to have this opportunity, a therapeutic vaccine to not only treat cancer, but to prevent relapse, it's a huge opportunity for us to really improve people's health and make them happier and healthier and have a longer lifespan," says Dr. Burstein.
Dr. Burstein adds it is about time the U.S. healthcare system start recognizing the talent at Roswell Park
LAS VEGAS - Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died Sunday in a fiery 15-car wreck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when his car flew over another on Lap 13 and smashed into the wall just outside turn 2.
Wheldon was 33. Drivers were told of Wheldon's death in a meeting about two hours after the fiery, smoky crash that many drivers said was the worst they had ever seen.
The British driver won the Indianapolis 500 twice, including this year.
"IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute to in his honor."
Three other drivers, including championship contender Will Power, were hurt in the pileup.
The wreck left Townsend Bell upside down and smoldering cars and debris littered the track nearly halfway up the straightaway of the 1.5-mile oval.
The track was red-flagged following the accidents while crews worked on fences and removed smashed cars.
Wheldon started in the back of the pack but quickly worked his way through the 34-car field before the wreck.
"It was like a movie scene which they try to make as gnarly as possible," said Danica Patrick, making her final IndyCar start. "It was debris everywhere across the whole track, you could smell the smoke, you could see the billowing smoke on the back straight from the car. There was a chunk of fire that we were driving around. You could see cars scattered.
Drivers had been concerned about the high speeds at the track, where they were hitting nearly 225 mph during practice.
Their concerns became reality when contact on Turn 2 sent cars flying through the air, crashing into each other and into the outside wall and catch fence.
"I'll tell you, I've never seen anything like it," Ryan Briscoe said. "The debris we all had to drive through the lap later, it looked like a war scene from Terminator or something. I mean, there were just pieces of metal and car on fire in the middle of the track with no car attached to it and just debris everywhere. So it was scary, and your first thoughts are hoping that no one is hurt because there's just stuff everywhere. Crazy."
Here is Wheldon with NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earlier this year at Indianapolis. He won the 500.
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