Patients get one vaccine injection eight to ten weeks after surgery, then four booster shots after chemotherapy and radiation. Laheru and his team completed enrolling patients in the study this past January. The average follow-up time is 32 months.
"It is important that we continue to follow these patients to know how the treatment will work in the long-term," says Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor in Oncology and Pathology. "We're hopeful that these early results will hold true."
Jaffee and Laheru hope to begin multi-institutional studies in about a year. They are working with Hopkins pathologists from the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center to analyze proteins from pancreatic cancer cells that may help them refine the vaccine's targets.
Pancreatic cancer strikes more than 30,000 Americans annually, and about the same number will die each year.