Triple-threat viral vaccine cures abdominal cancer in animal models

March 2, 2017

A study led by Dr. Rebecca Auer found that a personalized viral vaccine can effectively fight the spread of abdominal cancer in animal models. This spread, called peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC), is a leading cause of death in patients with abdominal cancers. It is rarely cured by surgery or chemotherapy. However, results published in the Cancer Immunology show that a cell vaccine made with an individual’s cancer cells combined with a cancer-fighting virus was able to achieve long-lasting cures in animal models of PC. This vaccine uses a triple-threat to attack the cancer. First, the virus only infects and kills cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unscathed. Second, the virus produces a protein called interleukin-12, which boosts the immune system’s natural ability to fight the tumour. Third, as a result, the vaccine trains the immune system to recognize and fight off the same kind of tumour if it ever comes back. Dr. Auer and her colleagues recently received a grant from BioCanRx to optimize this therapy and prepare for clinical trials.

Authors: Almohanad A. Alkayyal, Lee-Hwa Tai, Michael A Kennedy, Christiano Tanese de Souza, Jiqing Zhang, Charles Lefebvre, Shalini Sahi, Abhirami A. Ananth, Ahmad BakurMahmoud, Andrew P. Makrigiannis, Greg O Cron, Blair Macdonald, E. Celia Marginean, David F Stojdl, John C. Bell, Rebecca C Auer

Funders: Terry Fox Research Institute, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, University of Tabuk, Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

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