Novel technique used to treat melanoma and epithelial tumors in new clinical trial

3D Structure of Melanoma Cell

3D Structure of Melanoma Cell
Photo credit: Sriram Subramaniam, CCR, NCI, NIH 

Adults diagnosed with metastatic melanoma or epithelial cancer may be eligible to participate in a new clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center.

Typically, melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. Epithelial cancer is found in the cells that line or are found in parts of the body such as the intestines, lungs, reproductive organs, brain or urinary tract. Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Surgery Branch, aims to use dendritic cell (DC) vaccines to shrink melanoma or epithelial tumors. His team uses a technique called exomic sequencing that identifies specific mutations in a tumor. Exomic sequencing allows researchers to read the “letters” in the part of your DNA that makes proteins to see where the letters are correct and where the letters are incorrect. Incorrect letters are called mutations. This information allows white blood cells engineered from the patient to recognize these tumor-specific mutations and be made into vaccines, called dendritic cell (DC) vaccines.

The Center for Cancer Research is NCI’s internal cancer center, a publicly funded organization working to improve the lives of cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care.  Highly trained physician-scientists develop and carry out clinical trials to create the medicines of tomorrow treating patients at the world’s largest dedicated research hospital on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  

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Summary Posted: 03/2018