New weapons against cancer
New weapon against cancer? US-funded research shows the delivery of the vaccine intravenously (IV) increased the number of cytotoxic T cells capable of penetrating and destroying tumour cells and activated the innate immune system by producing type I interferon, according to the researchers. Image for illustrative purposes only.. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Washington: Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), have reported that an experimental therapeutic cancer vaccine induced two distinct and advantageous immune system responses that resulted in significant tumour regression in mice.

The delivery of the vaccine intravenously (IV) increased the number of cytotoxic T cells capable of penetrating and destroying tumour cells and activated the innate immune system by producing type I interferon, according to the researchers.

The innate immune response altered the tumour microenvironment by combating inhibitory factors that would have otherwise stifled T-cell activity. In mice that got the immunisation by needle injection into the skin, the tumour microenvironment did not change (subcutaneous administration).

Vax-innate

The scientific team's method, known as "vax-innate," accomplishes a crucial objective in the search for more potent immunotherapeutic cancer vaccines. The study shows that tumour-induced immunosuppressive activity is overcome by IV vaccine administration, enabling and enhancing T-cell immunity.

The proposed vaccination, according to the researchers, may also be administered intravenously to patients who have already received tumour-specific T cells as a kind of therapy. According to the researchers, it may also enhance tumour control by boosting T cell numbers and improving the tumour microenvironment.

Robert Seder, M.D., and colleagues at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC), along with partners from Vaccitech North America, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in Baltimore, Maryland, developed the experimental vaccine known as SNAPvax.

In 2023, Vaccitech hopes to develop the SNAPvax platform for use in treating cancers linked to the human papillomavirus.