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Ovarian cancer vaccine: Can it prevent recurrence?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ovarian-cancer-vaccine/AN01788
- With Mayo Clinic medical oncologist
Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.Timothy Moynihan, M.D.
"As a practicing medical oncologist, I meet with patients and families every day to help manage their course through this disease called cancer. This experience provides unique insight into the needs of cancer patients, their families and loved ones and brings into sharp focus the need for reliable information to be readily available in terms that can be easily understood." — Dr. Timothy Moynihan
Dr. Timothy Moynihan believes that providing consumers with accurate, timely information on the broad, complex topic of cancer is the biggest challenge facing medical websites. As the guiding force behind our cancer content, he makes sure Mayo Clinic meets the test.
Dr. Moynihan, born in Las Vegas, N.M., and raised in Denver, is a consultant in medical oncology at Mayo Clinic and an associate professor at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn. He's board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice and palliative care medicine.
He did his medical oncology training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and then went on to the University of Minnesota and St. Paul Regions Medical Center for seven years before moving to Mayo Clinic in 1999. Dr. Moynihan is medical director of the Mayo Clinic hospice.
Dr. Moynihan serves as the education chair for the Department of Oncology and the fellowship program director. Four times he has been selected as Teacher of the Year in medical oncology and elected to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame.
Past honors include distinguished clinical teacher at the University of Minnesota Medical School, best internist at the Medical College of Wisconsin and recipient of the Upjohn Achievement Award for Excellence in Medicine. Dr. Moynihan serves on several national committees for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
"The Internet provides a ready source of information on a wide range of topics of interest to those affected by cancer," Dr. Moynihan says. "The difficulty is trying to decide which sites provide reputable information and which information is relevant to each individual patient. The long history and tradition of excellence associated with Mayo Clinic assures you that information provided will be reliable, up-to-date and comprehensive."
Risk factors (1)
- Ovarian cancer: Still possible after hysterectomy?
- CA 125 test: A screening test for ovarian cancer?
Tests and diagnosis (1)
- Pap smear: Can it detect ovarian cancer?
- Ovarian cancer vaccine: Can it prevent recurrence?
Ovarian cancer vaccine: Can it prevent recurrence?
Tell me about ovarian cancer vaccines that are supposed to prevent recurrence of ovarian cancer. Do they work?
from Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.
Research continues in the development of a number of vaccines designed to prevent the recurrence of ovarian cancer. So far, ovarian cancer vaccines are available only in clinical trial studies.
One theory behind ovarian cancer vaccines is that they stimulate the immune system to detect and eliminate any cancer cells that reappear after initial treatment has been completed. Vaccines under study include abagovomab and oregovomab.
Abagovomab has been shown to elicit an immune response in women with ovarian cancer, but it's not known if this improves the outcome. Major clinical trials studying abagovomab are currently underway. Oregovomab also has been tested and has been shown to elicit an immune response. But one study showed no difference in the recurrence rate in women who got oregovomab as compared with a placebo. Other vaccines are also being studied, as are ways to help boost the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Surgery followed by chemotherapy remains the standard primary treatment for ovarian cancer. One aspect of ovarian cancer vaccine research includes examining how best to use these vaccines in combination with chemotherapy.
Although research has shown that ovarian cancer vaccines may hold promise, these studies have involved only small numbers of participants. More and larger studies are needed to further evaluate the potential role that vaccines may play in preventing recurrent ovarian cancer.Next question
Ovarian cancer: Still possible after hysterectomy?
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- Kandalaft LE, et al. Immunotherapy for ovarian cancer: What's next? Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2011;29:925.
- Preston CC, et al. Immunity and immune suppression in human ovarian cancer. Immunotherapy. 2011;3(4):539.
- Grisham RN, et al. Abagovomab: An anti-idiotypic CA-125 targeted immunotherapeutic agent for ovarian cancer. Immunotherapy. 2011;3(2):153.
- Berek J, et al. Oregovomab maintenance monoimmunotherapy does not improve outcomes in advanced ovarian cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2009;27:418.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 15, 2012.