A vaccine made from immune cells has been shown to be effective against ovarian cancer.
A personalized vaccine against ovarian cancer has shown promising results, according to a study published in the medical journal Science Translational Medicine.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and the Vaud University Hospital Center (CHUV) in Switzerland conducted a trial with 25 patients.
The personalized vaccine was made from the patients’ own immune cells. They were exposed in the laboratory to the contents of the tumor cells and then injected to the patients to initiate a broader immune response. The trial, conducted in patients with advanced ovarian cancer, focused on the safety and feasibility of this protocol. The vaccine was given every three weeks, sometimes up to 6 months.
“The idea is to mobilize an immune response that will target the tumor very widely, hitting a variety of markers, including some that would only be found on this particular tumor,” said Janos L. Tanyi, professor of obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the study.
About half of the vaccinated patients responded well to the vaccine and tended to live much longer without tumor progression. The researchers observed a two-year survival rate of 100% among women who responded well to the vaccine against 25% among those who did not receive the vaccine.
“This vaccine appears to be safe for patients and arouses a broad anti-tumor immunity, and we believe it justifies a new test on larger cohorts,” said Janos L. Tanyi.
Ovarian cancer affects about thousands of women per year. It is the 7th most common cancer in women. It appears most often after menopause (the average age of diagnosis is 65 years).