New Cancer Vaccines Could Provide Beneficial Alternative Therapy

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New Cancer Vaccines Could Provide Beneficial Alternative Therapy

Bouvé/ChE University Distinguished Professor Mansoor Amiji sees the promise of new cancer vaccines amid encouraging results from treatment studies.

This article originally appeared on Northeastern Global News. It was published by Tanner Stening. Main photo: Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

How vaccines that target specific forms of cancer are showing great promise

One of the great promises in the field of cancer immunotherapy is the emergence of cancer vaccines. Unlike traditional vaccines that are tailored to infectious diseases, cancer vaccines work by teaching the immune system to recognize and respond to cancer cells, which often elude the body’s natural defenses and remain persistent even after surgeries and other interventions.

Now, a new treatment for two of the most deadly and hard-to-treat cancers could be coming in the form of a vaccine. Currently in testing, the vaccine is showing early promise in potentially being able to stop pancreatic and colorectal cancer from reemerging in patients with either disease.

The vaccine — which targets a specific gene mutation prominent in pancreatic and colon cancer, among other types, and which was shown to prompt a T cell response — was also shown to be safe.

While the study is still in the early stages, the results are encouraging, says Mansoor Amiji, Northeastern distinguished professor in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Amiji spoke to Northeastern Global News about the promise of cancer vaccines, and some of the challenges of getting them approved and into the arms of those who need them. Amiji, who runs a lab that focuses on research related to problems in cancer, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases, says his lab has collaborated with Kenneth Anderson at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to develop vaccines for multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that originates in bone marrow.

Mansoor Amiji, University Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemical Engineering at Northeastern. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Cancer vaccines make up the “fourth arm” of cancer-related therapies — an alternative to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation that experts say could be beneficial because of the added immune system support, Amiji says.

Read full story at Northeastern Global News

Related Faculty: Mansoor Amiji

Related Departments:Chemical Engineering

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