Advaxis progress in dairy-based cancer vaccine

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Immune system

A dairy based vaccine could soon be on the horizon after
researchers took a giant step in the development of a series of
effective cancer-fighting vaccines that appear to be able to stop
and reverse cancer growth.

Researchers discovered that a microorganism, found in dairy products, aids in fighting cancer by activating the body's own killer cells (cytotoxic T cells) to bring out a stronger immune response to the presence of cancer cell.

While the ability of Listeria vaccines to stimulate the body's immune responses has been known for some time, this research is the first to provide solid evidence after more than ten years of scientific research and over 100 published studies in this field.

One of these studies, published in the Journal of Immunology (Sept. 2005),​ Yvonne Paterson, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, presented evidence of the cancer- fighting properties of a live modified Listeria monocytogenes cancer vaccine she created.

The vaccine was found to successfully eradicate several types of rapidly growing cancers in mice.

When Listeria was introduced in the body, it had a powerful, direct stimulatory effect on the activities of tumour- killing T cells.

"Essentially, modified Listeria vaccines harness the power of the immune system against this infectious agent, and then directs it to successfully attack cancer cells,"​ said Dr. John Rothman, Advaxis​' vice president of clinical development.

"The vaccines teach the immune system to mount a specialised, targeted response that is lethal to cancer."

Advaxis is now undertaking preliminary trials for two new proprietary cancer-fighting vaccines: Lovaxin B, for the treatment of breast cancer and Lovaxin-C for cervical cancer.

Although these are early results, clinical trials are expected to begin within the next year to two years.

"If Lovaxin C is successful in clinical trials it has the potential for treating cervical cancer in early and late stage disease, including those women who have positive pap smears and currently require surgery,"​ said Rothman.

Cervical cancer affects many thousands of women each year. The newly developed vaccine therapies for cervical cancer are directed at those women who have not been exposed to HPV, the viral cause of cervical cancer.

Lovaxin C, which will be entering Phase I/II clinical trials, is intended to cure women who have already cervical cancer as a result of HPV exposure.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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