On the road to a treating cancer vaccine

New knowledge both of tumour Genesis and cancer Immunology, gathered over recent years, has formed the basis for a wide range of different immunologically based trials of immunotherapy for cancer. You know today that the immune system recognizes cancer cells and in some cases kills them. The immune system reacts against the often slight changes that have occurred to some of the body's cells. Knowledge of these changes is now being exploited in the development of a cancer vaccine, as the prerequisite for this to happen is that one knows the goals of the immune system attacks on the cancer cells. This means knowing the specific molecular changes in the cancer cells that make these so different from normal cells that the immune system can react to it. In the last few years, we have described in laboratories that the immune system in cancer patients reacts against various survival proteins, such as The proteins survivin and BC1-2, which are present in almost all cancer cells, while it is hardly found in normal cells. The presence of these proteins is thus one of the differences between cancer cells and normal cells that may lead to the development of a vaccine. The first clinical vaccination trials based on this type of antigens have started, and in the coming years we will find out whether vaccination against such survival proteins can form the basis for an effective cancer vaccine.
See also the mention at videnskab.dk: http://videnskab.dk/madshaldandersen

Info box:

On the road to a treating cancer vaccine

Date: 16. Feb 2009
Time: 19:30:00

Lecturer: Mads Hald Andersen
Institution: Centre for Cancer ImmunTherapi (CCIT), Herlev Hospital

The Lecture is held: Geological Museum