New clinical trial tests prime-and-boost vaccine delivery for advanced solid tumors

immunotherapy research

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Patients with advanced cancers that express brachyury may be eligible to participate in a new clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center.

Some cancers (colon, lung, breast, liver and prostate, among others) express high levels of a protein called brachyury. Research shows that brachyury may affect the way tumors grow and spread throughout the body. Marijo Bilusic, M.D., of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch is testing an experimental vaccine in patients whose cancers have not responded to standard treatments. The vaccine consists of two viruses given one after the other. These viruses cannot cause a viral infection in humans, and they have been modified to express brachyury protein. The first viral vaccine primes the immune system into a strong response. The second vaccine boosts the immune response and makes it last longer. Researchers are testing this prime-and-boost approach to try and safely direct the immune system to kill tumor cells that express brachyury.

The Center for Cancer Research is NCI’s internal cancer center, a publicly funded organization working to improve the lives of cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care.  Highly trained physician-scientists develop and carry out clinical trials to create the medicines of tomorrow treating patients at the world’s largest dedicated research hospital on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  

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Summary Posted: 04/2018