Clinical trial assesses anti-melanoma vaccine's ability to induce an anti-cancer immune response

July 11, 2013

Cancer vaccines prime the immune system to attack cancer cells, decreasing tumor progression. IL-12p70, a molecule produced by certain types of immune cells, has been shown to reduce tumor progression, but delivering it as part of a cancer vaccine has been limited because of its toxicity in high doses.

In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dr. Beatriz Carreno and colleagues at Washington University report the results of a clinical trial that tested a vaccine to treat newly diagnosed advanced melanoma. A portion of each patient's own immune cells, known as , were modified to stimulate increased production of IL-12p70 by their immune system. This method avoided the toxicity seen with previous approaches. Carreno and colleagues found that IL-12p70 enhanced the effectiveness of the vaccine. Six out of seven patients exhibited a vaccine-stimulated immune response and three patients exhibited clinically significant changes in the progression of their tumors. These results underscore the role of IL-12p70 in the development of an anti-cancer immune response.

This study was funded Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, Siteman Cancer Frontier Fund, Washington University/JNJ Translational Medicine Awards, and the National Cancer Institute. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, etc.

Explore further: Modified immune cells seek and destroy melanoma

More information: IL-12p70–producing patient DC vaccine elicits Tc1-polarized immunity, J Clin Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI68395

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