"Update On Vaccines" David Minor, MD


Dr. David Minor, MD, President, California Kidney Cancer Foundation
He also serves as Director of Inpatient Oncology at California Pacific Medical Center. Dr. Minor received his B.A. from U. of California (Santa Cruz), his M.D. from U. of California (San Francisco), with postdoctoral work in medical oncology at Yale University.


Dr. Minor did not have any visual aids so the talk was a little more difficult to follow. What I picked up:

  1. An effective cancer vaccine must present the appropriate antigens. In RCC we don't know what these antigens are, so whole cells are used.
  2. The activity of the body's dendritic cells are critical to function of vaccine.
  3. A cancer vaccine needs to work in established disease (unlike most vaccines we are used to that work before the disease is established and prevent it from becoming established).
  4. Certain cytokines and co-stimulatory response are important fo make the vaccine work.
  5. The effectiveness of the host immune system is important

Dr. Minor discussed three types of vaccines in treating RCC:

  1. Gene-modified: some substances are placed into the tumor cell to make it function as an effective vaccine. Examples are G-Vac (sp?) which is GMCSF-based, and Allovectin, which inserts a gene for IL-2 production.
  2. A type which includes peptides or starches - heat shock protein or C-250 protein
  3. Dendritic cell: two types autologous (Boston) and allogeneic (Germany) This technique involves taking a minimum 2-3 cm tumor and lysing it to a single cell suspension. This is frozen and then thawed and mixed with dendritic cells (either the patient's own or from a donor). The mix is zapped with electricity to form a hybrid, which is then irradiated and injected back into the patient. Dr. Kugler in Germany has treated 100 patients, and is not adding new patients.

Dr. Minor felt that vaccine therapy should be synergistic with cytokine therapy.

This Kidney Cancer FAQ Page By PJ Boyle. Copyright 2001 PJ Boyle
Last Updated August 3, 2001