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AACR: Personalized Vaccine for Cancer Tolerated, Feasible

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 -- A personalized vaccine can be synthesized and is feasible for administration to patients with cancer, according to a study presented during Week 1 of the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held virtually from April 10 to 15.

Thomas Urban Marron, M.D., Ph.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues developed a personalized genomic vaccine (PGV-001) in patients who had undergone curative-intent surgery or autologous stem cell transplant and for whom there was a >30 percent chance for recurrence. Candidate neoantigens were identified following sequencing of tumor and germline DNA and RNA and use of the OpenVax custom computation pipeline.

The researchers found that the OpenVax pipeline identified an average of 67.1 neoantigens/patient within 15 patients enrolled; only two patients did not have an adequate number of neoantigens identified to synthesize 10 peptides. Thirteen of the patients (10 with solid tumors and three with multiple myeloma) received PGV-001; 11 received all 10 doses. The vaccine was well tolerated; in 31 percent of patients, there were grade 1 injection site reactions. One patient was lost to follow-up; the median progression-free survival was 618 days from the time of surgery or transplant. Four patients remained without evidence of disease with a mean follow-up of 925 days; four are receiving subsequent lines of therapy; and four have died (two with documented recurrence).

"Our results demonstrate that the OpenVax pipeline is a viable approach to generate a safe, personalized cancer vaccine, which could potentially be used to treat a range of tumor types," Marron said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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