Ampligen's Breast Cancer Trial - "a very desirable trial"


Senior Member
Very nice story out today from the University of Washington. While not about the treatment of CFS/ME, I think these positive hedging stories and certainly a success, in a breast cancer study would put additional pressure on the FDA to approve ampligen for CFS/ME.

May 7, 2013
Spokane physician participates as patient in breast cancer vaccine trial

By Elizabeth Hunter

Posted under: Health and Medicine, Research, Science, Technology, Uncategorized, UW and the Community

Clare McLean​
Family physician Dr. Alisa Hideg is checked by a UW Medical Center nurse after receiving her shots in a UW tumor vaccine trial. Hideg was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2011.
In June 2011 Dr. Alisa Hideg was a 42-year-old mother and family physician in the prime of her career practicing at Group Health in Spokane when she was diagnosed with estrogen and progesterone receptor negative/HER 2 positive breast cancer. Breast cancer in young, premenopausal women is usually aggressive. So even after chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and radiation, with her cancer in remission, Hideg wasn’t ready to take it easy. Both the type of breast cancer and the fact that it happened at a young age made her chances of relapse higher. This knowledge led her to experimental trials, and to the UW’s Tumor Vaccine Group.
Hideg found the UW Tumor Vaccine Group on the NIH’s clinical trials website, She had heard about a trial out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelmen School of Medicine where the use of gene transfer therapy converted the patients’ own immune cells into weapons aimed at cancerous tumors. All twelve patients had advanced stage leukemia; nine of the twelve responded positively to the treatment, and two of the first three patients treated have been in remission for two full years. The Perlelmen results encouraged her to seek out a UW study under way to see if she qualified.
The UW Tumor Vaccine Group currently offers clinical trials for patients with breast, ovarian, or colon cancer. Hideg is in the “Phase I-II Study of HER2 Vaccination with poly(I) • poly (C12U)(Ampligen®) as an Adjuvant in Optimally Treated Breast Cancer Patients.” Being approved to participate wasn’t easy. It is a very desirable trial with very specific criteria. The goal of the clinical trial is to allow the patient to make and keep enough antibodies to quash any future HER-2 expressing breast cancer.
Dr. Nora Disis, UW professor of medicine and principal investigator of the study, explains how the vaccine may work: “The vaccine is designed to stimulate a particular cell of the immune system, the T cell, to recognize the HER2 protein (that causes cancer). If effective immunity is generated, the T cell activated by the vaccine should be able to hunt out tumor cells wherever they may be and destroy them. This particular study is testing the use of an immune stimulator, ampligen, which may be able to activate the T cells more effectively than other agents we have used before. “

Clare McLean​
The injection site for the tumor vaccine being tested raises four small dots on Dr. Hideg’s forearm.
Last month, Hideg received a vaccine dose at UW Medical Center. The process is gentle—a series of four small injections that make a little grid of dots on the upper arm—but the body’s response can be angry. Hideg experienced flu-like symptoms after the first visit. The reaction may actually be a promising sign that her body is responding to the vaccine.
She’s positive and funny in the face of serious medicine. She tweets pictures of her experience to a network of fans and writes about her cancer in Spokane’s daily newspaper, theSpokesman-Review. In addition to being a doctor, patient, and full-time mother, Hideg recently went through a series of intense interviews to add “teacher” to her resume. She has become a clinical faculty member to teach second-year UW medical students at the Spokane WWAMI site. WWAMI is a five-state regionalized medical education program.
Said Hideg, “Teaching has always been a part of my clinical practice. I have taught medical students, residents and others in my clinic since I finished my own training. This experience has reminded me how important teaching can be and how much I enjoy passing on what I have learned as a physician, a parent, and as a patient. Whether the vaccine is effective for me or not, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the trial and help move the science forward. I believe in the potential of vaccine therapy for cancer and perhaps for other diseases also and I want a future with more options for my daughter and for others.”