Early breakthrough in blood cancer vaccination

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Queensland researchers have developed a cancer vaccine for blood cancers and solid malignancies, providing a major breakthrough in cancer treatment. Following the successful outcome of their preclinical studies the vaccine is now ready to move to human trials.

The vaccine was developed by a collaboration of researchers at The University of Queensland, Monash University and Mater researchers based at The Translational Research Institute.

Lead Researcher Associate Professor Kristen Radford says the vaccine has the potential to treat a variety of blood cancers and malignancies and is a major breakthrough for cancer vaccinations.

"We are hoping this vaccine could be used to treat blood cancers, such as myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and paediatric leukaemias, plus solid malignancies including breast, lung, renal, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers, and glioblastoma," she said.

"Our new vaccine is comprised of human antibodies fused with tumour-specific protein, and we are investigating its capacity to target human cells while activating the memory of the tumour cells."

Associate Professor Radford says the vaccine offers several key advantages over existing cancer vaccines, which have already shown promise in early clinical trials.

"First, it can be produced as an 'off the shelf' clinical grade formulation, which circumvents the financial and logistical issues associated with patient-specific vaccines," she said.

"Secondly, this prototype vaccine targets the key tumour cells required for the initiation of tumour-specific immune responses, thereby maximizing potential effectiveness of treatment, while minimizing potential side effects.

"Early preclinical studies have shown the vaccine targets key immune cells needed to generate tumour-specific immune responses, maximising the treatment’s effectiveness and minimising potential side effects,” Associate Professor Radford said.

The study was published in the journal Clinical and Translational Immunology. "We are very happy to see our research published in a prestigious journal, and we hope our continued work towards finding a safe and effective cancer vaccine will benefit cancer patients in the future," Associate Professor Radford said.