The development of more targeted means of treating cancer is vital. One option for a targeted treatment is the creation of a vaccine that induces an immune response only against cancer cells. In this sense, vaccination involves the introduction of a peptide into a patient that causes the formation of antibodies or T cells that recognize the peptide. If the peptide is from a protein found selectively on/in cancer cells, those antibodies or T cells can trigger the death of those cancer cells without harming non-cancer cells. This can result in fewer side effects for the patient.
TARP (T cell receptor gamma alternate reading frame protein) is a protein that is selectively expressed on the cells of about 95% of prostate cancers and about 50% of breast cancers. This invention concerns the identification of a combination of seven (7) immunogenic peptides within TARP and their use to create an anti-cancer immune response in patients. The vaccine includes two synthetic 9-mer TARP peptides covered by E-116-2003 and five additional 20-mer peptides overlapping by 10-mer and covering the entire 58-residue sequence of the TARP protein. Because the additional peptides are overlapping, they can stimulate both humoral and cellular killing responses. By introducing these seven peptides into a patient, an immune response against these cancer cells can be initiated by the peptides, resulting in treatment of the cancer.
NCI seeks licensees or co-development partners to commercialize this invention.