Cancer vaccines aim at reducing tumor progression by priming the immune system to attack cancer cells.
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 dendritic cells, 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.