Technology Bundle ID

Multi-epitope Vaccines against TARP (ME-TARP) for Treating Prostate and Breast Cancer

Lead Inventors
Jay Berzofsky (NCI)
Brenda Roberson (NCI)
Lauren Wood (NCI)
Masaki Terabe (NCI)
Development Status
Pre-clinical (in vivo)

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.

Commercial Applications
  • Peptides can be used as vaccines to induce an immune response against cancer.
  • Treatment of any cancer associated with increased or preferential expression of TARP.
  • Specific diseases include breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Competitive Advantages
  • Targeted therapy decreases non-specific killing of healthy, essential cells, resulting in fewer non-specific side-effects and healthier patients
  • Not restricted to tissue type
  • Use of multiple peptides permits production of a more thorough complement of T cells against the antigen

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