Oxford’s New Cancer Vaccine Scheduled for Human Clinical Trial

Sep, 2021 - By WMR

Oxford’s New Cancer Vaccine Scheduled for Human Clinical Trial

Researchers developed a new vaccine combining with immunotherapy, inspired by Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID jab technology.

A team of scientists from Oxford University and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research developed a cancer vaccine combining it with immunotherapy. The vaccine is developed using Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine technology. In its earlier trials, when tested in mice, the vaccine enhanced immune cells that target tumor. Due to immunotherapy, the cells became effective in destroying tumor as reported by the research published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer on September 02, 2021. The human clinical trial will be starting late this year.

In immunotherapy, cells can be fully charged to fight cancer efficiently. In this, the natural checkpoints are removed that stop the immune cells from being uncontrollable allowing them to destroy cancer cells. This technique despite being successful, is not very effective in some cancer patients treated with only immunotherapy. The problem is not having enough immune cells to allow them to kill cancer cells. The newly designed vaccine is capable of boosting those numbers. The two-dose vaccine is developed using same viral vectors as the well-known COVID-19 vaccine of Oxford/AstraZeneca. The vaccine generates more levels of CD8+ T cells. They are prepared to target two proteins MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1, which exist on the surface of cancer cells. The vaccine was combined with immunotherapy and was experimented on mice.

The results were promising. The levels of CD8+ T cells were multiplied and immunotherapy helped them target tumor more destructively. The two techniques shrank the size of the tumour, enhancing survival rate of the mice. Half of the mice lived through 50 day mark, while mice from control group didn’t survive. Now, the scientists are ready to launch a Phase 1/2a clinical trial of the cancer vaccine combined with immunotherapy in 80 patients with non-small cell lung cancer late this year.

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