Breaking News
November 14, 2018 - Appendix removal is linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s
November 14, 2018 - Lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce cardiovascular disease risk
November 14, 2018 - Pulmonary rehabilitation rarely received by hospitalized COPD patients despite health benefits
November 14, 2018 - New anti-HER2 drug shows promising anti-tumor activity in gullet, stomach and bowel cancers
November 14, 2018 - Brigham investigators examine opioid use among Massachusetts adolescents, prescription trends
November 14, 2018 - Study defines biomarker in response to treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer
November 14, 2018 - Study identifies potential therapeutic strategy for patients with clear cell renal cancer
November 14, 2018 - Bausch Health Announces U.S. Launch of Bryhali (halobetasol propionate) Lotion, 0.01%, for Plaque Psoriasis In Adults
November 14, 2018 - Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 14, 2018 - Researchers evaluate controversial treatment for Parkinson’s disease psychosis
November 14, 2018 - AI could help veterinarians code their notes
November 14, 2018 - Pre-schoolers with autism thrive in mainstream classroom settings
November 14, 2018 - Individual and work-related factors may help promote hospital physician engagement, finds study
November 14, 2018 - Complementary and alternative medicine is widely used by general population in England
November 14, 2018 - Study reveals link between tobacco availability and smoking during pregnancy
November 14, 2018 - Purdue researchers develop translucent base for silicon patches to deliver exact doses of biomolecules
November 14, 2018 - New technology based on moths and magnets could help treat genetic diseases
November 14, 2018 - Concussion-Related Biomarkers Vary Based on Sex, Race
November 14, 2018 - One more year of high school may shape waistlines later in life
November 14, 2018 - Dissecting high drug costs – Scope
November 14, 2018 - Study shows novel strategy to reduce breast cancer bone metastasis
November 14, 2018 - Empowering the NHS through Industry Partnerships
November 14, 2018 - One size does not fit all in obesity treatment, study finds
November 14, 2018 - Seeking ways to prevent ‘secondary cataracts’
November 14, 2018 - Change Within the Eye May Be Early Warning for Macular Degeneration
November 14, 2018 - Study of 500,000 people clarifies the risks of obesity
November 14, 2018 - Ultrasound releases drug to alter activity in targeted brain areas in rats | News Center
November 14, 2018 - Umass Amherst researchers battle against youth suicide in rural Alaska Native communities
November 14, 2018 - Cancer stem cells depend on amino acid metabolism, and it’s proving to be their Achilles’ heel
November 14, 2018 - Epigenetic link found between prenatal exposure to maternal smoking and offspring’s cardio-metabolic health
November 14, 2018 - Meditation, music may change biomarkers of cellular aging and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults
November 14, 2018 - Multidisciplinaryresearch teams selected to study age-related brain disorders
November 14, 2018 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Informatics
November 14, 2018 - Researchers identify tool to help transgender women have a more authentic voice
November 14, 2018 - Four faculty members appointed to endowed professorships | News Center
November 13, 2018 - Research finds strongest evidence yet that obesity causes depression
November 13, 2018 - Researchers compare stools of breastfed and formula-fed infants
November 13, 2018 - Entasis Therapeutics Announces Zoliflodacin Phase 2 Results Published in The New England Journal of Medicine
November 13, 2018 - Gene changes driving myopia reveal new focus for drug development
November 13, 2018 - $6 million grant to support study of preeclampsia, atherosclerosis links | News Center
November 13, 2018 - Beneficial gut microbes metabolize high-fiber diet to improve heart health in mouse model
November 13, 2018 - Excessive use of social media through visual postings linked to increase in narcissistic traits
November 13, 2018 - Study finds why obesity both fuels cancer growth and helps immunotherapy to kill tumors
November 13, 2018 - Women prefer and invest more in daughters, while men favor sons
November 13, 2018 - With hospitalization losing favor, judges order outpatient mental health treatment
November 13, 2018 - Transgenic rat model may provide new insights into cerebral amyloid angiopathy
November 13, 2018 - Study identifies factors tied to greater risk of advanced liver disease in cystic fibrosis patients
November 13, 2018 - Risk of blindness among premature babies with low levels of blood platelets
November 13, 2018 - A new strategy for combatting antibiotic-resistant infections
November 13, 2018 - Study aims to find which outreach method is more effective at improving cancer screening rates
November 13, 2018 - Insufficient sleep duration linked with unhealthy lifestyle profile among children
November 13, 2018 - IIASA researchers introduce new, simple measure for human wellbeing
November 13, 2018 - Magnetic nanosprings used as targeted drug delivery agents for anticancer therapy
November 13, 2018 - Scientists examine FCMs containing silver nanoparticles
November 13, 2018 - Failed DNA repair triggers chromosomal chaos
November 13, 2018 - Study shows new emerging role of osteopontin in HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma
November 13, 2018 - Food insecurity during pregnancy linked to severity of neonatal abstinence syndrome
November 13, 2018 - Majority of Americans are concerned about health threat posed by antibiotic resistance
November 13, 2018 - Addition of Elotuzumab Ups PFS in Refractory Multiple Myeloma
November 13, 2018 - Study finds women with pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting use marijuana more
November 13, 2018 - Lethal heart rhythm more likely to be found in patients with common heart failure
November 13, 2018 - Study provides new clues to origin and development of multiple sclerosis
November 13, 2018 - Climate change could pose threat to male fertility
November 13, 2018 - Researchers discover how mitochondria deploy a powerful punch against disease-causing bacteria
November 13, 2018 - AHA: Traumatic Childhood Could Increase Heart Disease Risk in Adulthood
November 13, 2018 - Feeling the Burn? | NIH News in Health
November 13, 2018 - Women’s birth canals in Kenya, Korea, Kansas not the same: study
November 13, 2018 - Fecal microbiota transplantation effective against ICI-associated colitis
November 13, 2018 - New physical activity guidelines released that urge people to “move more”
November 13, 2018 - Angiotensin receptor blockers improve sodium excretion in blacks
November 13, 2018 - New project seeks to address alarming injury rate in youth footballers
November 13, 2018 - Fish oil or omega 3 fatty acid supplements can prevent heart attacks finds study
November 13, 2018 - The Human Heart-in-a-Jar That Could One Day Replace Animal Testing
November 13, 2018 - Treat patients’ partners without a doctor visit
November 13, 2018 - Belgian beer landscape mapped using scientific insights
November 13, 2018 - ‘Master key’ gene has links to both ASD and schizophrenia
November 13, 2018 - Gladstone scientists gain new insights into the aging brain
November 13, 2018 - Drug therapy can improve outcomes for acutely ill heart patients
November 13, 2018 - Three landmark studies provide better understanding of sudden cardiac arrest
November 13, 2018 - Cholesterol control revised in the latest AHA/ACC guidelines
First-of-its-kind study to test a personalized vaccine in cancer patient

First-of-its-kind study to test a personalized vaccine in cancer patient

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Tamara Strauss has been living with high-grade, stage IV pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer for more than three years. Current treatments, although effective for her, are highly toxic. Tamara enrolled in a first-of-its-kind, pilot study at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health to test a personalized vaccine using her unique cancer mutations to boost an anti-tumor immune response.

Led by Stephen Schoenberger, PhD, professor of immunology at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI), and Ezra Cohen, MD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, scientists and clinicians have developed a technology that reliably defines the neoantigens — foreign protein fragments recognized by the immune system — in a patient’s cancer.

With neoantigens identified, the team can identify peptides — strings of amino acids — that can be used to create a vaccine to stimulate a protective immune system response. Essentially, the information in a patient’s cancer is used to boost the immune system to initiate a stronger response from both cytotoxic and “helper” T cells — white blood cells that collaborate to destroy cancer cells.

“T cells need to recognize a cancer cell as being different before they can produce a response to destroy a patient’s tumor,” said Cohen, associate director for translational science at Moores Cancer Center and an internationally recognized physician-scientist who specializes in novel cancer therapies. “It’s a complicated process to harness this power into a vaccine. We are creating an incredibly personalized and precise therapy that is based on what that person’s cancer and immune system are telling us. Each vaccine we develop only applies to a specific individual.”

Tamara was selected as the first patient for the trial because, despite disease progression, her body remains strong, and is more likely to respond positively to the experimental immunotherapy treatment.

Tamara’s parents, Iris and Matthew Strauss, donated $1 million to help launch the clinical trial, hoping that a breakthrough treatment could help patients like their daughter beat their disease. The family has already lost one daughter to ovarian cancer.

After sequencing Tamara’s tumor and normal tissue, the team identified mutations expressed solely by cancer cells in her body. Schoenberger and LJI’s Bjoern Peters, PhD, developed a novel algorithm to select mutations that are recognized by the immune system. This algorithm was deployed to recognize the neoantigens that generated the strongest T cell response from Tamara’s tissue samples. These neoantigens were then presented to Tamara’s own T cells and cultured over a two-week period using 50 milliliters of her blood to develop a personalized vaccine.

“It’s been invention and new science every step of the way. This process simply hasn’t existed until we tried to build it here,” said Schoenberger. “By opening up our eyes and measuring what’s really happening with the cancer cells and the immune system, rather than predicting what we hope is there, we could make the transformational step needed to make this approach possible.”

Tamara’s vaccine took eight weeks to produce. When it was ready, Cohen took the vaccine filled syringe and administered it in Tamara’s upper arm, like a simple flu vaccine. After receiving the injection, Tamara said the liquid felt thick and warm, stinging just a bit more than a typical vaccine.

The vaccine is part of a one-two punch. In addition to the vaccine, patients receive pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a FDA-approved immune checkpoint blockade inhibitor that blocks abnormal interaction between the molecule PD-1 on immune cells and the molecule PD-L1 on cancer cells, allowing the immune cells to recognize and attack tumors. Combined with the vaccine, the drug should unleash the full potential of T cells activated by the vaccine, said Schoenberger.

During the trial, participants will return for two additional vaccine doses and remain on pembrolizumab for up to two years. Their health will be monitored for a minimum of five years.

“As much I would love to be cancer-free more than anything, I hope this vaccine truly does work because of the immense impact it could make on helping so many people, and easing the pain of what they go through as a cancer patient, would be phenomenal,” said Tamara.

The trial will enroll 10 participants with solid tumors whose disease has not responded to or has stopped responding to standard therapies. Cancer cells can adapt to treatment and become resistant, but inherent in the immune system is a way to prevent resistance, said Cohen. The idea is that the vaccine and check-point inhibitor will stimulate the immune response and that the vaccine will help the immune system to adapt with the cancer to prevent resistance from occurring.

“The first and foremost thing that I want is clinical benefit for these patients. I want their tumors to either stop growing or start shrinking,” said Schoenberger. “Scientifically, I want to be able to measure that the targets we’re identifying are relevant, that we see an increase in the number of T cells or in their functional capacity. That will let us know we’re really on to something. And then, I’m hoping that we can find the resources needed to treat more patients so we can be certain that this approach truly works.”

In addition to the philanthropic gift from the Strauss family, initial giving from the Immunotherapy Foundation created the infrastructure for the trial and funds raised by patient-advocates, Kristin and Wyatt Peabody helped launch the trial.

“Funding science that is this new, this innovative is challenging, but they recognize that this may be a paradigm shift for the way we treat cancer and the way we view cancer in the future,” said Cohen. “If we’re going to take the next big step toward curing cancer, we realized we have to do it on an individualized and personalized approach because that’s what cancer is. Every person’s cancer is different. We need to stop taking patients and try to fit them to drugs. We need to start making drugs and fitting them to what we’re seeing biologically in a patient’s cancer.”

Source:

https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/is_the_next_big_step_in_cancer_therapy_personalized_vaccines

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles