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Protein vaccine slows leukemia

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10:15am, December 19, 2002

From Philadelphia, at a meeting of the American Society of Hematology

By injecting leukemia patients with part of a protein found in greater abundance on cancerous cells than on healthy ones, researchers have been able to induce some patients' immune systems to fight this blood cancer.

Jeffrey J. Molldrem of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and his colleagues fashioned the cancer vaccine from a piece of proteinase 3, a compound overproduced by malignant blood cells in leukemia patients. Earlier research suggested that the piece, called PR1, stimulates production of immune system T cells that specifically target proteinase 3.

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