Immunotherapeutic Lung Cancer Vaccine Trial to Launch

Novel vaccination approach using a modified adenovirus to prime the immune system and alert it to the presence of cancer cells
cancer cells

Cancer Research UK and Vaccitech Oncology Limited announce a new partnership to bring a novel immunotherapeutic vaccine strategy to patients with lung cancer.

This is the first time a viral vaccine program using an innovative platform will be tested in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common type of lung cancer. 

Announced on December 18, 2019, the vaccine is designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.

The vaccine will deliver cancer-associated antigens (MAGE A3 and NY-ESO-1) to antigen-presenting cells called dendritic cells, causing the immune system to produce cytotoxic T cells, which target and kill cancer cells expressing the antigens.

Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will sponsor and manage the first clinical trial of the therapeutic vaccine strategy, in combination with the current standard of care and first-line treatment for NSCLC.

The Phase I/IIa trial will investigate whether receiving the immunotherapeutic improves the efficacy of chemotherapy and anti-PD-1 treatment. It will also assess the ability of the therapeutic to provoke a safe and effective anti-cancer immune response in people with NSCLC.

Dr. Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said in a press release, “This novel approach using a modified adenovirus to prime the immune system and alert it to the presence of cancer cells could offer a completely new way to treat the disease.”  

Jonathan Skipper, executive vice president for technology development, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, said: “Previous clinical trials of experimental cancer vaccines targeting MAGE and NY-ESO antigens have demonstrated that these antigens are highly specific to cancer and capable of eliciting strong immune responses.” 

“We believe that Vaccitech’s highly effective T cell induction platform should provide a potent immunotherapeutic that, in combination with checkpoint blockade, is capable of inducing sustained levels of cancer antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and the desired therapeutic effect in patients.”

Every year around 41,700 people are diagnosed with NSCLC in the UK, which accounts for around 88 percent of all lung cancer cases.

The Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development has been pioneering the development of new cancer treatments for 25 years, taking over 140 potential new anti-cancer agents into clinical trials in patients. 

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

Cancer news is published by Vax Before Cancer