Personalized Vaccine for Advanced Ovarian Cancer Offers Promising Results in Pilot Study

Personalized Vaccine for Advanced Ovarian Cancer Offers Promising Results in Pilot Study
A personalized vaccine targeted to a patient’s own tumor cells yielded promising results in patients with recurrent advanced ovarian cancer, a Phase 1 pilot trial shows. The vaccine was safe, capable of triggering a broad anti-tumor immune response, and significantly delayed disease progression in patients responding to the therapy. The study “Personalized cancer vaccine effectively mobilizes antitumor T cell immunity in ovarian cancer” was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The new immunotherapy is a personalized vaccine made from the patient's own immune cells, namely dendritic cells, stimulated to target a tumor. Most cancer vaccines are designed to attack a specific known target, for instance, a receptor at the cell surface that is frequently present in that type of tumor. But even for the same type of cancer, each patient’s tumor has a unique set of mutations and looks different to the immune system. The new approach followed by the researchers creates a vaccine personalized for each patient, taking advantage of the body's natural anti-tumor immunity brought about by T-cells. From each patient, researchers collected white blood cells that then were grown in the laboratory into a large population of dendritic cells, a specific type of immune cells. These cells normally take up and break down foreign material, including infectious agents or tumors, re-exposing pieces of it — called antigens —  to immune cells. The display of antigens by dendritic cells is crucial for triggering T-cells to specifically attack the foreign invader, in this case the tumor. In the study, the patients’ dendritic cells derived in the laboratory were put in contact with extracts of the patient's tumor. Then, dendritic cell activ
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