A significant challenge in developing therapies for the treatment and prevention of cancer has been the discovery, selection, and exploitation of antigens.
Researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) have partially circumvented this issue in their development of novel strategies for rendering weakly or non-immunogenic, shared antigens immunogenic, or able to produce an immune response. These strategies use proinflammatory chemokines to deliver antigens to immature dendritic cells (DCs) by targeting chemokine receptors differentially expressed on antigen presenting cells (APCs). Their work builds upon the discovery that tumor-associated, embryonic antigens (e.g., OFA-iLRP) – though non-antigenic alone – are effective for the treatment and/or prevention of cancer when linked to a chemoattractant ligand. Examples of such ligands include proinflammatory chemokines such as MIP3α/CCL20 or β-defensin mDF2β. Multiple vaccines may be developed based upon individualized treatments for patients facing, or at risk of developing, the most aggressive forms of cancer.
The NIA is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in licensing or collaborative research and development that can be applied to many cancer types. Such co-development opportunities would aim to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize simple and potent vaccines targeting embryonic and other antigens expressed in tumors.
- Potential development of a prophylactic vaccine
- Simple and less invasive approach; easily deliverable to the skin, muscle, and other tissues
- Treatment and prevention of solid tumors
- Treatment and prevention of blood-borne tumors