Scientists are developing personalized ‘cancer vaccines’ that can help fight tumors and stop them from growing back
A personalized cancer vaccine that can help the body fight cancer has been tested and is safe to use, according to a new study.
Scientists say that stroke, which shows our immune system which part of the body to target, could be used to treat many types of Cancer, including the lungs and bladder, which come back often.
the the most common cancer treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, although other options include immune and hormonal therapy.
Today, researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York have developed a vaccine that may increase people’s chances of survival and prevent tumor growth.
Study author Dr. Thomas Brown said, “While immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment, the vast majority of patients do not experience a significant clinical response with such treatments.
“Cancer vaccines, which typically combine tumor-specific targets that the immune system can learn to recognize and attack to prevent cancer from coming back.
“The vaccine also contains an adjuvant that prepares the immune system to maximize its effectiveness.”
The researchers conducted a Phase I clinical trial involving 13 patients, 10 with a solid diagnosed with tumor and three with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects white blood cells.
To generate the personalized vaccine, they sequenced the DNA of each patient’s reproductive cells and tumors, a process called the OpenVax pipeline.
They also identified where the patient’s tumor was to see if their immune system would recognize vaccine targets.
Patients received 10 doses of the personalized vaccine over a six-month period after standard cancer treatment such as surgery or a bone marrow transplant.
The vaccines were given with an immune system stimulant called poly-ICLC to help fight growing tumors.
After two and a half years (880 days), four patients still had no evidence of cancer, four were receiving other types of treatment and four had died.
Professor Nina Bhardwaj, author, said: “The most experimental personalized cancer vaccines are given in a metastatic setting, but previous research indicates that immunotherapies tend to be more effective in patients whose cancer spreads less.
“So we developed a neoantigen vaccine that is given after standard adjuvant therapy, such as surgery in solid tumors and bone marrow transplantation in multiple myeloma, when patients have minimal residual disease, usually microscopic.”
Overall, the jab was well received, with only a few patients showing mild irritation around where they were injected.
Professor Bhardwaj said: “Our results demonstrate that the OpenVax pipeline is a viable approach to generate a safe and personalized cancer vaccine, which could potentially be used to treat a range of tumor types.”
Blood tests also revealed that the vaccine triggered an immune response against cancer in one of the patients.
In addition, two others responded well to cancer treatment with immunotherapy after receiving the vaccine.
Prof Bhardwaj added: “The main objective of a phase 1 trial is to determine the safety of an investigational treatment, which was achieved in this trial.”
The results were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) virtual annual meeting.