April 1, 2013

$PVCT: Understanding Why Cancer Vaccines Fail

This article from The Motley Fool is a nice read. The first part of the article revisits an MD Andersen discovery earlier this year that the incomplete Freund's adjuvant, or IFA, a mineral oil-based adjuvant, could be a problem.

The article also highlights other vaccine or vaccine-like treatments like Provenge (Dendreon), Yervoy (Bristol-Myers) and TheraCys (Sanofi), as well as Stimuvax (Oncothyreon) and Allovectin (Vical), ultimately concluding that "[T]he insights from the discovery at MD Anderson will help move cancer immunotherapies further along, but given the long list of failures, it's still a risky area to invest in."

In discussing the impact of these treatments on cancer (tumors), the author misses a critical point; namely, so-called cancer vaccines fail because they are not sufficiently effective directly on tumors in the first place. In other words, these treatments do not kill tumors well enough, while PV-10 does.

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