Although tumor regressions have been seen in 10% to 20% of patients with metastatic melanoma, the great promise of cancer vaccines - controlling tumor growth and cancer spread without serious side-effects - remains as yet unrealized. This could be set to change with the publication of a new mouse model technology in Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association of Cancer Research, from a multi-national team led by investigators at the Brussels Branch of the global Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR).
“Melanoma has been a focus of cancer vaccine development because many melanoma-specific vaccine targets, so-called ‘cancer antigens’, have been defined,” says the study’s senior author, LICR’s Dr. Benoit Van den Eynde. “However, we have a limited understanding of how most, but not all, melanomas evade an immune system that has been primed to detect and destroy cancer cells carrying one of these defined cancer antigens.”
According to Dr. Van den Eynde, this is due in part to the lack of appropriate animal models in which detailed immunological analyses can be performed before and after vaccination. “The models we use to investigate cancer vaccines at the preclinical level either have a defined cancer antigen in a transplanted tumor, or they have an ‘original’ tumor that doesn’t have a defined antigen. However, in human clinical studies, we have original tumors with defined antigens. So there has been a need for a mouse model that more closely follows the human model.”
Thus the Institute that first cloned mouse and human cancer antigens, allowing the rational design of cancer vaccines, has developed a model in which melanoma with a defined cancer antigen can be induced. The model has been engineered to have several mutations found to occur together in human melanoma, and so closely mimics the genetic profile of cancers treated in the clinic. The team, which is comprised of investigators from Belgium, France and The Netherlands, has already begun characterizing a cancer antigen-specific immune reaction observed before the mice were even vaccinated, which they hope will lead to a further understanding of spontaneous melanoma regressions.
Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Executive-Director of New York’s Cancer Research Institute, which was founded in 1953 specifically to foster cancer immunology research, believes that this model may yield information crucial for cancer vaccines for other tumor types and not just melanoma. “We have clinical trials for cancer antigens for sarcoma, for melanoma, and for breast, prostate, lung and ovarian cancers. We’re learning a lot from these trials, but we could learn a lot more if we have a model like this, which selectively expresses each of our target antigens. Just one example might be the analysis of the immune response to cancer antigens during the early stages of cancer onset and progression, which might indicate if there is an optimum time for vaccination.”
Sarah White | alfa
New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
29.05.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy