June 24th, 2016

I Wish I Were A Mouse!

” In the mice study, the vaccine was successful.” I said.
Then a friend answered, ” I can make you a mouse bringing you a long tail, big front teeth, and cheese!”
Her joke made me laugh, but I really like her idea!

Though I haven’t heard anything from Hitachi yet despite two phone messages I left, I received some interesting additional information about the vaccine from NCI.

1) Cost

Expensive investigated drugs and all sorts of exams in the trial are sometimes covered by the study sponsors or sometimes to be subjects of individual health insurance. Since my insurance is Kaiser, which applies only for Kaiser hospitals, if a trial outside of Kaiser asks for a health insurance, it is almost impossible for me to participate the trial. Yet thankfully for this vaccine trial, NCI covers all the costs of the study including the traveling expense. This makes possible for me to fly to outside of CA if Irvine is not the option.

2) Procedure of Vaccine

Unlike ITL therapy, which requires to be admitted in an ICU, a patient’s white blood cells, which include Dendritic Cell (DC) are collected by 1-3 hour procedure using needles, which are shot under the skin. Once the vaccine is made by the collected DC, it is given four times. The side-effects appear to be flu symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, etc, but only right after the vaccine injection, and other than that, it says the procedure of vaccine is safe and no need of hospitalization.


Collecting white blood cells for the vaccine is like a procedure of blood donation.  The circulated blood goes from the needle on one arm to a machine, which separate white blood cells from other blood cells and goes back to another arm.

3) Effectiveness

Since this is a phase 1 study, there is no data in human beings, but the theory is very impressive: While targeted drugs such as Herceptin, Perjeta, or Kadcyla, work only on the small part of HER2 protein, which characterizes HER2 positive cancer, the vaccine is supposed to induce antibodies to work much more comprehensively.


Targeted drugs (Trastuzumab and Pertuzumab) recognize only a small portion of HER2 protein

The Vaccine is supposed to induce a patient’s immune system and make comprehensive antibodies called polyclonal antibodies.


The shrinking cancer in the mouse

The problem is there is a huge gap between a mouse and a human being. It is not unusual that a clinical trial failed although the animal trial was successful.
Umm, I wish I were a mouse!

Minnie Mouse