Vaccine uses new approach to immunotherapy for vaccine to treat mesothelioma, ovarian cancer

28 Mar 2014 by under News, Research/Treatment

cancer stem cell 100x100 Vaccine uses new approach to immunotherapy for vaccine to treat mesothelioma, ovarian cancerResearchers have developed a vaccine that takes a novel approach to immunotherapy to treat cancer, in particular mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. The new vaccine should be easier for patients with advanced cancers to tolerate, and less expensive to administer than traditional immunotherapy vaccines.

, MD, PhD and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center is senior author of the study whose results were published in a recent edition of the Journal of Hematology & Oncology. He explains that traditional immunotherapy treatments involve extracting a patient’s own immune cells, then priming them with tumor antigens and returning them to the patient. Patients with advanced cancers often don’t have enough immune cells that can be collected for this process.

An article in the Oncology Nurse Advisor explains the new vaccine uses an engineered protein that is combined with a molecule that targets a tumor-cell antigen with another protein that stimulates immune functions. The vaccine stimulates the patient’s own dendritic cells, which are immune cells that attack pathogens. The manufactured-protein vaccine targets a protein called , which is expressed in tumors including mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.

So far, the new immunotherapy vaccine has only been tested in animal trials, with good results.

Study co-author Jeffrey Gelfand, MD, is a senior scientist at the MCH Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center. He tells the Advisor, “… our protein can be made in unlimited amounts to work with the immune cells patients have remaining. We have created a potentially much less expensive approach to making a therapeutic cancer vaccine that, while targeting a single tumor antigen, generates an immune response against multiple antigens.”

Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor

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