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Feb 16, 2010 12:48 AM by Carina Corral

Local cancer center conducts vaccine trial

The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara is taking part in a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a new vaccine for lung cancer, with hopes of one day being able to fight the number one cancer killer among both men and women in the United States.

The trial is open to all Santa Barbara County residents over the age of 18 and under the age of 75 and who have advanced stage inoperable lung cancer.

After 20 years of testing Lucanix, this is the third and final phase before seeking FDA approval.

The vaccine is intended to extend life rather than being utilized as a cure for lung cancer.

"The hope is that the Lucanix vaccine will improve survival rates and quality of life for patients with advanced lung cancer," said Dr. Fred Kass, Medical Director of Research and Wellness at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.

In earlier trials, patients on Lucanix lived an average of nearly 16 months longer than those who did not receive the vaccine.

"Clinical trials allow us to provide our patients with cutting edge therapies that may not be otherwise available, while helping us move towards the goal of cure," said Dr. Alan Bryce of the Santa Barbara Hematology Oncology Medical Group.

Once enrolled, participants will receive a monthly injection of either the vaccine or placebo, and they will be closely monitored.

Participants have a two in three chance of receiving the vaccine over placebo.

The injections will be given monthly for 18 months and then once at 21 and 24 months, in the absence of disease progression.

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