About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Cancer Vaccine Effective in Mice Models

by Medindia Content Team on October 30, 2007 at 5:32 PM
Font : A-A+

Cancer Vaccine Effective in Mice Models

A new study has brought scientists one step closer to a much-sought-after "cancer vaccine."

Researchers at the University of Georgia Cancer Center have developed a carbohydrate-based vaccine that in mice has effectively produced a strong immune response to cancer cells.


"In mice we can illicit very strong antibody responses and we have shown that the antibody responses are functional - that they can kill cancer cells," Nature quoted lead author Geert-Jan Boons, Franklin professor of chemistry, as saying.

At present, vaccines are used to thwart diseases by priming the immune system to identify and attack a virus or bacteria. However, the vaccine that Boons and his team have synthesized is a therapeutic vaccine that trains the body's immune system to fight an existing disease.

The discovery in the 1970s of unique sugars on cancer cells set scientists in search of a way to get the immune system to distinguish and attack cells that express these cancer-associated sugars. So far, however, the results have been less than impressive.

According to Boons, early cancer vaccines were created by linking the tumor-associated carbohydrate with a foreign protein. The immune system, perhaps not surprisingly, attacked the protein and the linker molecules, but generally left the carbohydrate alone.

"We needed to come up with a vaccine that does not give our immune system a chance to go after anything else but the tumor-associated carbohydrate. In other words, there should no junk that can induce an immune response to something other than the tumor-associated carbohydrate," Boons said.

Boons and his team developed a vaccine synthetically from scratch by piling molecules together and arranging them in the appropriate configuration. In 2005, they created a fully synthetic vaccine that stimulated an immune response to the tumour-associated carbohydrate alone. The vaccine stimulated only low antibody levels, however, so the researchers began optimising the components of the vaccine to illicit a stronger immune response.

Their optimised vaccine includes a tumour-associated carbohydrate that triggers the immune system's B cells, a part of a protein that triggers the immune system's T cells and a linker molecule that stimulates the production of generalized immune components known as cytokines.

The results of their three-pronged approach were surprising, principally with regard to a critical component of the immune system known as IgG.

"When we tested our best vaccine we got really, really fabulous antibody levels that have never been seen before. The levels of IgG antibody production were 100 times better than with conventional approaches," Boons said.

He added that the vaccine has been effective in creating an antibody response that can kill cultured epithelial cells, those commonly involved in most solid tumours, such as breast and colorectal cancer, derived from mice and in stimulating an immune response in healthy mice.

The researchers are presently testing the vaccine in mice with cancer, and Boons hopes to start phase I clinical trials in humans within a year.

However, despite his zeal for his work, Boons warns that it's too early to predict how the vaccine will perform in humans.

"There's a very big step going from mice to humans. Other cancer vaccines have worked in mice but not in humans," he said.

The finding is published in the October issue of the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment Non-Communicable Diseases 

Recommended Reading
Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine Trials
Ongoing therapeutic cancer vaccine trials have yet to show evidence of vaccines spurring a ......
Cancer Vaccine may Be the Complete Cure for Cancer
Researchers and medical experts have expressed hopes of a major breakthrough in cancer treatment ......
Clinical Trial of Brain Cancer Vaccine Underway at NYU
A clinical trial aimed at assessing a brain cancer vaccine in patients with newly diagnosed brain .....
Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases
Cigarette smoking, unhealthy diets, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity are some of the most...
Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant
What is dandelion? Dandelion greens are nutrition powerhouses with a wide range of health benefits. ...
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are promising drugs to treat a variety of cancers and the FDA has appro...
Non-Communicable Diseases
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a group of chronic non-infectious diseases which include Cardio...
Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked
Childhood vaccination has saved many lives, yet lots more has to be done to increase awareness and e...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use