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Novel Vaccine for Melanoma Is Focus of Preclinical Research

By: Alison Tewksbury
Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019

A novel nanovaccine for melanoma has been developed by Joāo Conniot, PhD, of Tel Aviv University, and colleagues. The results of their preclinical study, which were published in Nature Nanotechnology, demonstrated that it may be possible to use this vaccine strategy to prevent the development of melanoma and to treat existing melanoma and metastasis using mice models.

“In our study, we have shown for the first time that it is possible to produce an effective nanovaccine against melanoma and to sensitize the immune system to immunotherapies,” stated Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, in a Tel Aviv University press release. “We believe that our platform may also be suitable for other types of cancer….”

The investigators evaluated the effectiveness of the vaccine in three different melanoma scenarios. First, the vaccine appeared to yield prophylactic effects. Healthy mice were injected with the vaccine prior to injection with melanoma cells, and the disease was prevented. Second, it was combined with immunotherapies in the treatment of a primary tumor in model mice. The synergistic treatment delayed the progression of the disease and extended the lives of all treated mice. Third, the nanovaccine was studied in tissues from patients with late-stage melanoma brain metastases. Mouse models with late-stage melanoma brain metastases had been established after excision of the primary melanoma lesion, to simulate the clinical setting.

These nanoparticles are about 170 nm in size and made of a biodegradable polymer containing short chains of amino acids expressed in melanoma cells. The nanoparticles were recognized by the immune system of the mice and created the ability for the immune system to recognize and attack melanoma cells.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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