When Douglas Alexander’s prostate cancer showed signs of re-emerging after years in remission, he didn’t have any viable treatment options available. The radiation therapy he’d had when he was first diagnosed with a stage I tumor five years earlier couldn’t be repeated, and surgery also wasn’t an option: Despite rising levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which suggested Alexander’s cancer had returned or spread, his doctors couldn’t find a new tumor on medical scans. So when his oncologist told him about a pilot study testing a cancer vaccine in patients at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Md., just 25 miles from his home in Bowie, Md., Alexander, now 63, readily agreed to participate.
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