JUL 16, 2020 7:42 AM PDT

Cancer Vaccine Charges Toward the Clinic

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandez

Kristen Radford, a professor at Australia’s University of Queensland is leading a scientific research team that's developing the next generation of therapeutic cancer vaccines. Their vaccine, which showed promising results in preclinical trials, has hit a new milestone as the team now plans to test its efficacy in human clinical trials.

According to Radford, this experimental vaccine has immense potential in treating a wide spectrum of malignancies. "We are hoping this vaccine could be used to treat blood cancers, such as myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and pediatric leukemias, plus solid malignancies including breast, lung, renal, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers, and glioblastoma," she said.

The vaccine is a chimera, made up of human antibodies that are genetically fused to a tumor-specific protein called Wilms’ tumor 1, or WT1. The WT1 protein is one of the most studied tumor-associated antigens, meaning that the presence of WT1 on tumors can flag down circulating immune cells to target and destroy the cancerous cells. Due to its high immunogenicity, WT1 is a prime target for therapeutic cancer vaccine development.

Vaccines can train the immune system to recognize and eliminate invading pathogens and malignant cells. There are currently two types of cancer vaccines, ones that either prevent cancer development or vaccines that are applied therapeutically to wipe out residual tumors after therapy and prevent cancer from recurring. Most of the therapeutic vaccines are still in development and not widely available outside of a clinical trial setting.

Radford and colleagues believe that this new cancer vaccine has an edge over other similar treatments in development.

Speaking on these advantages, she commented, "First, it can be produced as an 'off the shelf' clinical-grade formulation, which circumvents the financial and logistical issues associated with patient-specific vaccines."

"Secondly, this prototype vaccine targets the key tumor cells required for the initiation of tumor-specific immune responses, thereby maximizing the potential effectiveness of treatment, while minimizing potential side effects.”

“We are very happy to see our research published in a prestigious journal, and we hope our continued work towards finding a safe and effective cancer vaccine will benefit cancer patients in the future,” added Radford, whose study has recently been published in the highly ranked journal, Clinical and Translational Immunology.

 

 

Sources: Clinical and Translational Immunology, Translational Research Institute.


 

About the Author
  • Tara Fernandez has a PhD in Cell Biology and has spent over a decade uncovering the molecular basis of diseases ranging from skin cancer to obesity and diabetes. She currently works on developing and marketing disruptive new technologies in the biotechnology industry. Her areas of interest include innovation in molecular diagnostics, cell therapies, and immunology. She actively participates in various science communication and public engagement initiatives to promote STEM in the community.
You May Also Like
AUG 17, 2021
Immunology
Does Fasting Help Protect Against Infection?
AUG 17, 2021
Does Fasting Help Protect Against Infection?
Most people feeling under the weather, especially those with a fever, tend to lose their appetites. When recovering from ...
AUG 26, 2021
Coronavirus
Researchers View COVID-19 Progression in a Live Animal Model
AUG 26, 2021
Researchers View COVID-19 Progression in a Live Animal Model
Scientists have used a mouse model to visualize the progression of a SARS-CoV-2 infection as it led to sometimes fatal c ...
SEP 13, 2021
Microbiology
Flu Season Looms Large as World May Have an 'Immunity Debt'
SEP 13, 2021
Flu Season Looms Large as World May Have an 'Immunity Debt'
Scientists are beginning to speculate about the possibility that the flu season this year will be particularly bad becau ...
NOV 01, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
How SARS-CoV-2 Evades Antiviral Defenses
NOV 01, 2021
How SARS-CoV-2 Evades Antiviral Defenses
Researchers have learned a lot about the SARS-CoV-2 virus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that he viru ...
NOV 12, 2021
Health & Medicine
T-Cell Signature Distinguishes COVID-19 Immunity from Other Respiratory Infections
NOV 12, 2021
T-Cell Signature Distinguishes COVID-19 Immunity from Other Respiratory Infections
COVID-19 is a highly studied disease. It’s caused the most significant influx of research papers in a single year& ...
NOV 18, 2021
Immunology
Ultrasound Helps Shuttle Cancer-Killing Antibodies to the Brain
NOV 18, 2021
Ultrasound Helps Shuttle Cancer-Killing Antibodies to the Brain
Antibody therapies harness the immune system's power to fight a broad spectrum of diseases, from cancer to infectiou ...
Loading Comments...