Roswell Park Makes Strides In Helping Cancer Patients

January 24, 2012 Updated Jan 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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January 24, 2012 Updated Jan 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Roswell Park Cancer Institute has made great strides in helping people with cancer. Now, they are taking their research one step further.

"We are going to tell you today about work about development of a vaccine against cancer," CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute Dr. Donald Trump said Tuesday at a major news conference.

Members of the Roswell Park health community gathered for this big announcement, the clinical study of a vaccine that doctors say may go as far as to cure the disease and prevent relapse. This study was also approved by the FDA.

"We are launching a new clinical trial that will harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer," Dr. Kunle Odunsi said.

Here is how it works. Doctors will take cells from a cancer patient. They will then manipulate or train those cells to recognize cancer cells as bad for the body. The cells will then be put back into the patient and they will be able to fight the cancer. They will do all this with unique and state-of-the-art equipment housed right at Roswell Park.

"There are many components to complete a clinical trial of this magnitude and this type. One of these components is to have a special facility called a Good Manufacturing Facility or GMP where you can manufacture a product under FDA regulations and state regulations as well," Director of the Therapeutic Cell Production Facility Dr. Christopher Choi said.

Eighteen to 20 patients suffering from all types of cancers will be involved with the study and their eligibility depends on their risk factors and doctor recommendations, among other things.

"There are two groups of patients. Patients who are at high risk of relapse, and others who are at minimal residual for disease," Odunsi said.

The doctors said after finding their patients and conducting the tests, it should take anywhere from a year to a year and a half to see if this vaccine will really work, making a breakthrough in cancer research for the medical field and cancer patients worldwide..