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Novel personalized cancer vaccine is safe: Study

New York, April 12 (IANS) A new personalized cancer vaccine, developed by the US researchers, is safe and beneficial for patients with different cancers, including lung and bladder, results of phase I clinical trials have shown.

“While immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of cancer, the vast majority of patients do not experience a significant clinical response with such treatments,” said Thomas Marron, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York, US.A

“Cancer vaccines, which typically combine tumor-specific targets that the immune system can learn to recognize and attack to prevent recurrence of cancer. The vaccine also contains an adjuvant that primes the immune system to maximize the efficacy,” Maron said.

In the phase 1 trial, 13 patients received the vaccine: 10 had solid tumor diagnoses and three had multiple myeloma, before the vaccine.

The team sequenced all the 13 patient’s tumor and germline DNA and tumor RNA and administered them 10 doses of the personalized vaccine over a six-month period.A

The vaccine was given with the immunostimulant, or adjuvant, poly-ICLC, which is “a synthetic, stabilized, double-stranded RNA capable of activating multiple innate immune receptors, making it the optimal adjuvant for inducing immune responses against tumor neoantigens,” said Nina Bhardwaj, Director of the Immunotherapy Programme and at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai.

After a follow-up of nearly two-and a half years, four patients still had no evidence of cancer, four were receiving subsequent lines of therapy, four had died, and one chose not to continue the trial.

The vaccine was well tolerated, with roughly one-third of patients developing minor injection-site reactions, the researchers said.

The results were presented at the virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021 held between April 10 and 15.

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