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FP6

LCVAC — Result In Brief

Project ID: 512855
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Netherlands

Lung cancer vaccination

Similarly to vaccination against viruses, a cancer vaccine entails the use of certain antigens to manipulate the immune system to fight cancer. A European effort investigated the potential of various novel lung cancer antigens in a vaccination approach.
Lung cancer vaccination
Lung cancer represents one of the most prevalent forms of cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Conventional therapy offers small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) a median survival of 15 months while in the cases of extensive-stage disease this figure drops down to 9 months.

As a result, immunotherapy has emerged as a promising new regimen for improving the bad survival statistics of lung cancer patients. To this end, the EU-funded ‘New vaccination therapies for lung cancer’ (LCVAC) project aimed to identify and characterise novel lung cancer-specific antigens that could be used for efficient and safe vaccination. Additionally, project partners focused on developing adjuvant technologies for the vaccination protocols and testing them on a lung cancer mouse model alongside cell-based vaccines.

LCVAC scientists successfully showed that the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM-MUM splice variant was an SCLC-specific antigen and a potential target for the vaccine development programme. This discovery culminated in the filing of a patent for intellectual property rights (IPR). Testing of this antigen in a pre-clinical model is expected to shed light on its validity as an immunotherapy target.

The LCVAC-generated research procedures and reagents, alongside the novel lung cancer antigens identified during the course of the project, constitute significant advancement in lung cancer immunotherapy. However, the successful translation of this regimen into clinical practice remains to be fully evaluated.

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