New 'Cancer Vaccine' Shows Promising Results
Researchers have developed a new personalized cancer vaccine that could protect people from tumors or cancerous cells. It has targeted 20 mutated proteins unique to each patient's tumors and has inhibited early relapse in 12 patients with skin cancer.
The findings of the study were presented to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Washington, D.C. The study was led by Catherine Wu at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and other colleagues. The vaccines aim at viruses and bacteria and diminish the patient's cancer cells, according to Science Alert.
The personalized vaccines have neoantigens that are mutated proteins specific to a patient's tumor. Once the patient's tumor is genomically sequenced, the neoantigens are determined. This provides the physicians the information they need to identify the distinctive mutations. Once the immune system of a patient had given a dose of the tumor neoantigens, the patient's T cells are triggered and then attack cancer cells.
In the clinical trial, the scientists targeted about 20 neoantigens each patient. The vaccines were inserted or injected under the skin of the patients for about five months. They have no side effects and have a powerful T cell response.
The results showed that all the patients who were inserted the personal vaccine are still cancer-free for over two and a half years after the clinical trial. Although the personalized vaccines show promising results, the scientists stressed that these are relatively new and need more clinical testing.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian biotech Targovax is now creating new cancer vaccine known as TG02, which targets mutations of the RAS gene in pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and other forms of cancer. TG02 is the second vaccine developed by Targovax, and it is now undergoing clinical trials. The first vaccine is the TG01 that just finished a Phase I/II trial in pancreatic cancer and had also showed promising results with two-year survival data, according to Labiotech.