Blood Cancer Vaccine Candidate Is Comprised of Antibodies Fused with Tumor-Specific Protein

University of Queensland cancer vaccine candidate CLEC9A‐WT1 identified as promising immunotherapy for malignancies
depiction of cancer cells

Researchers in partnership with The University of Queensland have developed a new cancer vaccine, which has shown promising signs in preclinical laboratory studies

The CLEC9A‐WT1 vaccine candidate was found to be promising immunotherapy for malignancies that express Wilms' tumor-1 (WT1)‐specific CD8+ T cells. 

And this new vaccine could be potentially used to treat a variety of blood cancers and malignancies, stated lead researcher Associate Professor Kristen Radford, in a press statement published on July 7, 2020.

“We are hoping this vaccine could be used to treat blood cancers, such as myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and pediatric leukemias 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 tumor-specific protein, and we are investigating its capacity to target human cells while activating the memory of the tumor cells.”

Specifically, this study found WT1 was genetically fused to antibodies specific for human CLEC9A, DEC‐205, or β‐galactosidase (untargeted control). And the activation of WT1‐specific CD8+ T‐cell lines following cross‐presentation by CD141+ DCs was quantified by IFNγ ELISPOT. 

The humanized mice reconstituted with human immune cell subsets, including a repertoire of naïve WT1‐specific CD8+ T cells, were used to investigate naïve WT1‐specific CD8+ T‐cell priming.

The CLEC9A‐WT1 vaccine was found to promote cross‐presentation of WT1 epitopes to CD8+ T cells and mediated priming of naïve CD8+ T cells more effectively than the DEC‐205‐WT1 and untargeted control‐WT1 vaccines.

Radford explained further that 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.”

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

“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 oncology patients in the future.”

The study was published in the highly ranked journal Clinical and Translational Immunology and was funded by grants from the Worldwide Cancer Research in the United Kingdom, and Mater Foundation.

Vax-Before-Cancer publishes research-based oncology news.