In a new development, a personalized cancer vaccine developed with the aid of Mount Sinai computational platform does not raise safety concerns, instead it shows potential benefits for patients with different types of cancers. In fact, the personalized vaccine show signs of notable benefits for patients who have high risk of recurrence, according to results of phase I clinical trials for the vaccine. The potential benefits of the vaccine demonstrated at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held virtually.
“In fact, immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment. However, a large population of cancer patients do not experience significant clinical response with such treatments,” stated the author of the study.
Typically, for clinical use, cancer vaccines combine tumor-specific targets that the immune system can learn the skills to recognize and attack to prevent cancer from recurring. In addition, the vaccine comprises an adjuvant that nudges the immune systems to maximize its efficacy.
Meanwhile, to create personalized cancer vaccine, the team of researchers at Mount Sinai sequenced the tumor, tumor RNA, and germline DNA of each patient. The tumor specific target of each patient also identified in order to help predict if the patient’s immune system would recognize the target of the vaccine.
OpenVax – the computational pipeline of Mount Sinai allows researchers to detect and prioritize immunogenic targets to be synthesized and incorporated in the vaccine.
Importantly, to establish the efficacy of personalized vaccine, patients were administered 10 doses of the vaccine post any standard cancer treatment such as bone marrow transplant or surgery for solid tumors over a period of six months.