30 July 2012
The arrival of Prof Franca Ronchese sees
a new direction for the Malaghan Institute
the dawn of cancer immunotherapy research.
Techniques established for growing
dendritic cells in thelaboratory.
First demonstration that a vaccine made from dendritic
cells and tumour peptides (protein fragments), delayed the
development of cancer in a mouse model.
The safety and feasibility of making a cancer vaccine from
a patients own dendritic cells and tumour fragments tested
in individuals with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Significant progress made in defining the critical cell types,
cytokines and vaccine conditions required for optimal
anti-tumour immune responses.
New knowledge applied to Phase III
clinical trial in patients with melanoma.
Killing of the dendritic cells in the vaccine by the same immune cells that
eradicate the cancer identified as a reason for the promising but limited
anti-tumour immune responses elicited by the cancer vaccine to date. New
research focus launched to identify solution for this problem.
Clinical study initiated to explore the possibility of using
immunotherapy to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic
leukaemia (CLL), the most common blood cancer in New Zealand.
A phase I vaccine clinical trial undertaken to explore the feasibility of
usingcancer immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy to treat
patients with the aggressive brain tumour glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Further refinement of cancer vaccine and demonstration that a compound
from marine sponges called alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer)
improved the anti-tumour immune response in mouse models.
Safety, feasibility and efficacy of using the á-GalCer adjuvant in
combination with refined cancer vaccine will be tested in a Phase I
clinical trial for melanoma.
Use of simplified cell-free cancer vaccines that target
the activation of dendritic cells already present in patients.
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