This project is devoted to the development of novel cellular vaccines designed to treat cancer patients. These cellular vaccines will present and enhance immunogens which will elicit a potent irnmune response. The goal is to achieve safe and effective immune reaction against the patient's own tumor. The multi-disciplinary approach involving 10 teams from 5 countries uses the most recent developments in immuno-technology to elaborate and validate a new concept for the therapy of cancer.
(1) Autologous cellular vaccines will be prepared by processing circulating blood mono-nuclear cells outside of the patient's body (ex vivo) to differentiate them into antigen presenting cells (APCs). Monocyte derived antigen presenting cells (MD-APCs) will then be activated in the presence of exogenous target antigens (tumor cell debris) to become fully mature antigen presenting cells.
(2) Functionality for antigen presentation to T cells of ex vivo monocyte derived APCs will be evaluated in-vitro.
(3) Cellular vaccines will be tested in selected rodent animal models. Efficiency will be monitored in pertinent experimental systems for cancer. Pharmacological data will be available for clinical investigation. Tolerance and biologic effects will be documented in chimpanzees.
(4) The first clinical trials on cancer patients will take place the second year of this program to validate the concept. Specialized Cell Processors with dedicated software and standardized controls will be developed and used for the preparation of cellular vaccines.
(5) The evaluation of new non-viral vectors and the validation of new non-viral transfection methods of mono-nuclear cells with marker genes will then lead to the ex vivo transfection of genes coding for immuno-stimulating cytokines in MD-APCs. Efficiency will be validated in-vitro, and in animal models.
The results from ex vivo and animal model studies will allow to evaluate the clinical relevance of this new cellular immuno-technology. Clinical validation of individual autologous cellular vaccines in specif1c indications for which no treatment is presently available will allow the development of cellular and gene immunotherapy for other types of cancers.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2288 GJ Rijswijk Zh
3584 CX Utrecht
114 86 Stockholm