In its first test in people, a new vaccine shows signs of fighting prostate cancer in men who have the disease. The treatment enlists a person's own immune cells to attack prostate tissue, including cancerous tissue. Despite assaulting some healthy cells, the vaccine appears safe and potentially effective in people, say scientists at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.
Researchers have been developing vaccines against cancer for several decades, but progress has been slow (SN: 6/13/98, p. 380: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/6_13_98/bob1.htm). Anticancer vaccines differ from most other vaccines by targeting tumors instead of microbes.