The ends of centuries are momentous times for immunology. Edward Jenner introduced the first vaccine, against smallpox, in 1798. New York surgeon William Coley originated immunotherapy in 1893, when he infected cancer patients with killed bacteria to stimulate immunity against their tumors. And now, in the 1990s, "cancer vaccines" are finally in widespread clinical trials.

Cancer vaccines are making headlines and have been the focus of five international scientific conferences in the past two years. "At least 50 institutions have research groups working on tumor vaccines," says Lynn Spitler, president of Jenner Technologies Inc., a private company based in Danville, Calif. Spitler was chairwoman of the second international conference on Engineered Vaccines for Cancer and AIDS, held in San Francisco March 3 to 5.

SHOOTING FOR BEST RESULTS: Lynn Spitler notes that at least 50 institutions are working on cancer vaccines. Among them are her firm, Jenner Technologies Inc....

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