According to the data from a clinical trial presented at the Fourth CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival, a new cancer vaccine based on HER2-targeted therapies showed promising preliminary results for patients with HER2-positive cancers.
“Immunotherapy marshals the exquisite specificity of the immune system to destroy cancer, and some types may have potentially fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. We are using a vaccine approach to generate an immune response to HER2, which is found at high levels on and drives the growth of several types of cancer, including breast, ovarian, lung, colorectal, and gastroesophageal cancers,” said Jay A. Berzofsky, the head of Vaccine Branch at the Center for Cancer Research.
“Our results suggest that we have a very promising vaccine for HER2-overexpressing cancers. We hope that one day the vaccine will provide a new treatment option for patients with these cancers,” added the researcher, cited by medicalXpress.
New cancer vaccine shows promising results against HER2-positive cancers
The new cancer vaccine is individually personalized by Berzofsky and his team using immune cells isolated from each patient’s blood. The cells are then modified in the lab, while the final product contains cells genetically modified with an adenovirus to generate HER2 protein.
According to the clinical trial, this new cancer vaccine had no adverse effects and presented zero cardiotoxicity.
“Based on the current safety and clinical benefit data, the dose of the vaccine was increased to 40 million dendritic cells per injection, and the trial opened to patients who have previously been treated with a HER2-targeted therapeutic, including patients with breast cancer. Moving forward, we would like to investigate whether we can increase the proportion of people who benefit from treatment with the vaccine by combining it with checkpoint inhibitor therapy,” explained Dr. Berzofsky.
Also, the researcher admitted that the only limitation of this study is that it involved only 11 patients and there was no control group (placebo). But the new cancer vaccine showed promising results. Thus further clinical trials are now in the plan.