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Cancer patients needed for cancer vaccine study

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Memorial Regional Cancer Center is currently enrolling patients in two national clinical trials. South Bend beat out cities like Chicago and Indianapolis for the trial to study the effects of cancer vaccines.



These trials are for people who have tried things like surgery and chemotherapy, but still have the risk of their cancer returning.



Dr. Thomas Reid is the Medical Director of Memorial Regional Cancer Center.



For Dr. Reid, the chance to be at the forefront of breast and prostate cancer research is not only exciting, but essential to the overall health of the area.



"We're actually bringing these really unique, absolutely cutting-edge therapies to South Bend, and for basically a hundred-mile plus radius," said Dr. Reid.



Instead of surgery or chemotherapy, the new technique uses vaccines.



Imagine getting a simple shot and then your body is able to recognize which cells are cancerous and attack them like other bacteria or viruses.



"So the idea now is that your immune cells will see this virus, attack it and engulf it," said Dr. Reid.



The vaccine would train your immune system to fend off future outbreaks. The hope is one day you'll be able to get a shot to prevent cancer from spreading in the first place.



"That's really the wonderful thing about this, to use something natural that's in the body and as far as we can tell, doesn't cause the side-effects, the toxicities that chemotherapy can cause," said Dr. Reid.



The hospital is looking for area breast and prostate cancer patients to take part in the study.



Qualified candidates would have to get checked 40 times over three years.



If you're curious, doctors ask that you call 574-647-1100.



"We're absolutely excited to bring this to folks in the area. It's truly, absolutely cutting-edge," said Dr. Reid.



As of right now, two people are currently undergoing vaccine treatments with a third patient is pending.

 

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