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Source: St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers
By: Media Relations Manager-Joe Stuteville

INDIANAPOLIS - A new vaccine, designed to stimulate the body to fight leukemia, is under clinical investigation by researchers at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers.

The trial tests the safety and effectiveness of what is called the "PRI peptide vaccine" for older patients having acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a fast growing cancer of white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow.

"Patients who have no detectable leukemia after chemotherapy but who are at risk for return of the disease because of their age or type of leukemia may be eligible for this study," said principal investigator Maureen A. Cooper, M.D., hematologist/oncologist with St. Francis Medical Group. "Some patients will receive the vaccine with immune-stimulating drugs; other patients will receive the drugs without the leukemia vaccine."

Patients accepted into the study will receive a series of four injections - the first three administered at three-week intervals. The final injection is given three months after the third injection.

"Results in earlier phases of the PR1 peptide vaccine show a good safety profile, have been well tolerated by patients and cause them little if any discomfort," said Cooper, adding that the injections are administered on an outpatient basis.

The vaccine is produced by The Vaccine Company, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company.

More than 13,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with AML in 2008, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The chance of getting the disease increases with age; however, children and adults of any age can develop AML

To enroll or for more information about the study at St. Francis, call 317-782-7820.

More information about clinical trials at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is at

Posted by Media Relations Manager-Joe Stuteville at 8/21/2008 03:04:00 PM

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