Immunotherapy

Advances made in lymphoma cancer vaccine treatment, study finds

Photo from science study of tumors before and after vaccine treatment
Systemic tumor regression in patients with indolent B cell lymphoma before vaccine (on left) and after vaccine. Photo: Joshua Brody/Mount Sinai Health System

Scientists announced a preliminary success in devising a cancer "vaccine" that was able to help prime the immune system to attack lymphoma cancer tumors in some patients, leading to a period of remission, according to a clinical study of 11 patients published in Nature Medicine Monday.

Why it matters: Indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (iNHLs) tend to be a slow-growing cancer that is incurable with standard therapy and poorly responsive to a newer type of treatment called checkpoint blockade. Scientists have been seeking ways to broaden the response of immunotherapy to more patients, and a therapeutic cancer vaccine is one option that's under consideration.

Medicare will pay for new cancer therapy

Test tubes arranged on a table in a federal lab.
Test tubes at a federal lab studying CAR-T. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Medicare is proposing to cover the new cancer treatment, known as CAR-T, that helps patients fight the disease with their own immune cells.

Yes, but: This doesn't address how much Medicare will pay. Cancer hospitals are lobbying for higher payments after Medicare said earlier this year it would pay $223,000 for the average inpatient treatment.