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Formulation of T cell vaccines for cancer

Mouse studies suggest saline formulations of T cell-targeted cancer vaccines could provide greater antitumor activity than conventional adjuvant carriers. In a mouse model for melanoma, subcutaneous injection with a tumor antigen vaccine formulated in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), a widely used oil-based carrier, caused accumulation of antigen-specific T cells at the injection site and elicited lower antitumor activity than injection of a saline-based control formulation of the same antigen. Mice receiving the saline-based formulation with an adjuvant cocktail of IL-2, a toll-like
receptor 7
(TLR7) agonist and an antibody against CD40 had higher levels of tumor-infiltrating T cells than mice receiving an IFA-based vaccine. Next steps include optimizing the vaccine formulation to maximize dendritic cell uptake of the antigen and testing the formulation in an investigator-led trial for melanoma.

SciBX 6(11); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.272
Published online March 21, 2013

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Hailemichael, Y. et al. Nat. Med.; published online March 3, 2013;
Contact: Willem W. Overwijk, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas