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Pseudomonas aeruginosa Vaccine in Cancer Patients

LOWELL S. YOUNG, M.D.; RICHARD D. MEYER, M.D.; and DONALD ARMSTRONG, M.D., F.A.C.P.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: Clinical Grant No. 26, American Cancer Society; Special Post-doctoral Research Fellowship 1-FOS-A1 43766-01, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (to Dr. Young); and Clinical Research Training Grant CA-05110-09, National Cancer Institute (to Dr. Meyer).

Presented in part 2 May 1970, the National Meeting of the American Federation for Clinical Research; 2 May 1971, the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Investigation; and 27 September 1972, the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Atlantic City.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Donald Armstrong, M.D., 444 East 68th St., New York, NY 10021.


New York, New York


Ann Intern Med. 1973;79(4):518-527. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-79-4-518
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During 1969 to 1972, 361 adult patients (176 vaccinees, 185 control patients) at a cancer center were randomized into a prospective study of the lipopolysaccharide vaccine derived from 7 serotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. There were no significant differences in underlying disease, antibiotic therapy, or antineoplastic treatment between the vaccine and control groups. Fatal bacteremic pseudomonas infection occurred in 19 control subjects as opposed to in 10 vaccinees, and nonbacteremic pseudomonas infections associated with death occurred in 12 control patients and in 3 vaccinees. Protection against bacteremic death was not significant, but the mortality rate associated with pseudomonas infection was 13 out of 176 for the vaccinated group versus 31 out of 185 in the control group (P < 0.01). Fatal pseudomonas infections in both vaccine and control groups were associated with marked leukopenia, low titers of opsonizing pseudomonas antibodies, or both. As an adjunct to therapy of neoplasms, immunoprophylaxis with pseudomonas vaccine was associated with a significant but limited reduction in fatal pseudomonas infection. Vaccine administration was also accompanied by a high incidence of untoward reactions.

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