MelCancerVac®—Polyvalent Vaccine Targeting Shared Tumor-Specific Antigens

(This page is an excerpt from the Research section “Vaccine Platform”.)

The main product of DanDrit Biotech USA, Inc. is MelCancerVac®, which uses a patient’s own dendritic cells loaded with tumor antigens from the lysate of a specifically selected melanoma cell line.

The melanoma cell line expresses a broad spectrum of cancer/testis antigens (in particular, the antigens of the MAGE family) and has low levels of expression of the melanocyte differentiation antigens. The original cell line used for the selection was isolated from a patient with a long-lasting disease-free period after the removal of a metastatic tumor, reflecting the natural high immunogenicity of these particular melanoma cells. The melanoma cell line has been tested for safety and was found to be free of infectious agents. The melanoma cell lysate is combined with the patient’s own dendritic cells. The method of dendritic cell generation was initially optimized in order to increase the capacity of immature dendritic cells to load the exogenous antigens and present them for recognition by T lymphocytes. The method was also optimized to increase the efficiency of transformation of monocytes into dendritic cells and permits us to produce up to five portions of vaccine using only 200 mL of a patient’s blood.

In pre-clinical studies performed in vitro, dendritic cells loaded with melanoma cell lysate were able to stimulate the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes with broad anti-tumor specificity. This demonstrated that DanDrit’s dendritic cell system is capable of inducing an immune response against shared tumor-restricted antigens expressed in many types of solid tumors. The extent of tumor cell death was correlated with the number of expressed antigens of the MAGE family, the main group of the cancer/testis antigens. These data indicate that the lysate of our melanoma cell lines could be used for treatment of many kinds of solid tumors where cancer/testis antigens are expressed in significant amounts.

For information on obtaining the product, see the section “How Do I Get MelCancerVac®?”.