June 10, 2010
Melanoma is one of a few cancers that have been shown to stimulate a low level immune response toward the tumor in many people. Some gifts donated to the Melanoma Research and Patient Care Fund of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation are supporting a study to create a melanoma vaccine that increases the immune response and promotes regression of the disease. Such a vaccine will be an important breakthrough for future melanoma patients because it could replace traditional chemotherapy, which has not proven very effective in the fight against melanoma.
“Our research for a melanoma vaccine is the kind of work not typically funded by the government or pharmaceutical companies,” says Washington University oncologist Gerald P. Linette, MD, PhD, who oversees melanoma vaccine research at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. “Contributions from private donors are really what allows us to do this kind of research that will ultimately change the future for melanoma patients.”
In early results, it appears that half of the metastatic melanoma patients in the study are responding completely to the vaccine. “David was too late for Dr. Linette’s study. But he was very hopeful that it would help future patients,” says Dee Ann Marion.
To give to the Melanoma Research and Patient Care Fund of The
Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, please visit our online giving form