Cancer vaccine advance

Enclosing anticancer vaccines in virus-like cases may reduce their chances of being rejected by the immune system, researchers believe.

Therapeutic anticancer vaccines are designed to boost patients’ anticancer immune response, but attempting to develop such therapies poses several challenges.

In particular, the viruses used to deliver antibodies are themselves targeted by the immune system, inducing neutralising and suppressive responses.

Writing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dr Michael Morse of Duke University Medical Centre, North Carolina, and colleagues describe a method of overcoming these neutralising and suppressive responses, using an alphavirus packaged in virus-like particles.

Dr Morse and his colleagues found that repeated administration of these packaged antibodies induced clinically relevant, targeted immune responses. Such responses were also associated with longer overall patient survival, raising hopes that the approach may be of therapeutic benefit.

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