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Study shows new mesothelioma vaccine is safe

January 26th, 2011

Researchers in The Netherlands have demonstrated the safety of a vaccine that could eventually be used to prevent mesothelioma after asbestos exposure. According to a study published in March 2010 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a group of mesothelioma patients who were treated with the new vaccine experienced no serious side effects.

The new vaccine works by infusing the body’s cells with antigens from the patient’s own mesothelioma tumor. These cells trigger an immune system response that helps to fight the tumor. Several patients involved in the study showed an increase in tumor-fighting antibodies, which in several cases lead to regression of their mesothelioma tumors in several cases.

Scientists hope that eventually the vaccine can be used to increase the survival rate of patients who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, meaning the disease is almost always fatal. The new vaccine may also be used treat victims of asbestos exposure in order to prevent them from eventually developing mesothelioma symptoms.

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