Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco are working to develop a prostate cancer vaccine which can potentially prolong the lives of patients in advanced stages of the disease. Dr. Eric Small, a urologic oncologist says a patientís own dendritic cells, which activate killer T-cells are used to specifically target prostate cancer.
Small: Itís a little bit like sending them to class and teaching them to recognize prostate cancer cells. We use a specific antigen, which is a foreign protein common to ninety percent of prostate cancers and so these cells have now learned how to identify prostate cancer cells.
Narrator: Small says this non-toxic approach can be used in patients at high risk of relapse, or in situations where other therapies donít work.
Small: if one can recruit the immune system 164 that would be the best possible way of complimenting other approaches of therapy, including hormones, chemotherapy, potentially in combination with surgery or radiation therapy as well. Weíre certainly not there yet, but this is the first step.
Narrator: For Science Today, Iím Larissa Branin.