New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
February 22, 2021
Personalized vaccine produces long-lasting anti-tumor response in patients with melanoma


Dual chromogenic immunohistochemical staining of FFPE tumor samples
Dual chromogenic immunohistochemical
         staining of FFPE tumor samples

A new study demonstrates the staying power of the immune response generated by a personalized cancer vaccine called NeoVax, which works by targeting specific proteins on each patient’s tumor cells to activate the body's immune system against the cancer.

Former Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Catherine J. Wu, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and colleagues, reported that the patients’ immune system cells continue to register an immune response against proteins in their melanoma tumor cells as much as four years after vaccination.

“We found evidence that the initial, targeted immune response has broadened over the years to provide patients with continued protection from the disease,” said Dr. Wu.

The study involved eight patients who had undergone surgery for advanced melanoma. At the time of publication, six patients of those patients showed no signs of active melanoma.

The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.