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New Cancer Vaccine Approach Directly Targets Dendritic Cells

New Cancer Vaccine Approach Directly Targets Dendritic Cells | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Celldex Therapeutics announced today that final data from its Phase 1 study of CDX-1401 in solid tumors, including long-term patient follow-up, have been published inScience Translational Medicine. The data demonstrate robust antibody and T cell responses and evidence of clinical benefit in patients with very advanced cancers and suggest that CDX-1401 may predispose patients to better outcomes on subsequent therapy with checkpoint inhibitors. CDX-1401 is an off-the-shelf vaccine consisting of a fully human monoclonal antibody with specificity for the dendritic cell receptor DEC-205 linked to the NY-ESO-1 tumor antigen. The vaccine is designed to activate the patient's immune system against cancers that express the tumor marker NY-ESO-1. While the function of NY-ESO-1 continues to be explored, references in the literature suggest that its expression might reflect the acquisition of properties that cancers find useful, such as immortality, self-renewal, migratory ability and the capacity to invade."


Editor's note: Cancer vaccines like CDX-1401 are a type of immunotherapy, meaning that they boost a patient's own immune system to fight cancer. CDX-1401 is able to attack tumor cells because the tumor cells have a molecule called NY-ESO-1 that CDX-1401 recognizes. We recently published a story about another treatment that is meant for patients whose tumors have NY-ESO-1. To learn more about how patients can use molecular testing to see if particular treatments might work for them, click here.

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Medical Xpress  |  Apr 16, 2014

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Deploying the Body's Army

Deploying the Body's Army | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction."


Editor's note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient's own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.

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The Scientist  |  Apr 1, 2014

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The Scientist  |  Apr 1, 2014

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The Scientist  |  Apr 1, 2014

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Infecting Just One Tumor with a Virus Could Boost the Systemic Effectiveness of Cancer Immunotherapy

Infecting Just One Tumor with a Virus Could Boost the Systemic Effectiveness of Cancer Immunotherapy | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"A Ludwig Cancer Research study suggests that the clinical efficacy of checkpoint blockade, a powerful new strategy to harness the immune response to treat cancers, might be dramatically improved if combined with oncolytic virotherapy, an investigational intervention that employs viruses to destroy tumors.


"Published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the study evaluated a combination therapy in which the Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a bird virus not ordinarily harmful to humans, is injected directly into one of two melanoma tumors implanted in mice, followed by an antibody that essentially releases the brakes on the immune response. The researchers report that the combination induced a potent and systemically effective anti-tumor immune response that destroyed the non-infected tumor as well. Even tumor types that have hitherto proved resistant to checkpoint blockade and other immunotherapeutic strategies were susceptible to this combined therapy."


Editor's Note: This story is about research that was performed in mice. For that reason, we cannot say whether similar results would happen for humans. However, viruses like the one explored here are already being used in people. To learn more about immunotherapy—cancer treatments that use the immune system to fight tumors—visit our Melanoma Basics.

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 5, 2014

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New Antibody-drug Conjugate Shows Early Promise Against All Forms of Melanoma

New Antibody-drug Conjugate Shows Early Promise Against All Forms of Melanoma | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"The investigational drug DEDN6526A, which is a new member of a class of drugs called antibody-drug conjugates, was safe, tolerable, and showed hints of activity against different forms of melanoma—cutaneous, mucosal, and ocular—according to results of a first-in-human phase I clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2014, April 5-9.


"Antibody-drug conjugates consist of an antibody attached to a toxic chemotherapy by a special linker that keeps the chemotherapy inactive. In the case of DEDN6526A, the antibody recognizes the protein endothelin B receptor (ETBR) and the toxic chemotherapy is monomethyl auristatin (MMAE). Infante explained that when administered to the patient, the antibody portion of DEDN6526A recognizes and attaches to ETBR, which is often present at elevated levels on the surface of tumor cells in patients with melanoma. The whole antibody-drug conjugate is then taken up by the cells and MMAE is released from the linker to become active, killing the melanoma cells."

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AACR  |  Apr 7, 2014

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Antibody Could be Used to Target Tumor-Causing Protein, Study Shows

Antibody Could be Used to Target Tumor-Causing Protein, Study Shows | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) and University of Cincinnati (UC) Cancer Institute researchers have found in a phase-1 study that patients with advanced melanoma and kidney cancer who were treated with a certain antibody that targets a tumor-enhancing protein was safe, which could lead to more treatment options for patients.


"The study is published in the March 11 edition of PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed, open access online publication.


"Principal Investigator John Morris, MD, clinical co-leader of the Molecular Therapeutics and Diagnosis Program for the CCC, co-leader of the UC Cancer Institute's Comprehensive Lung Cancer Program, professor in the division of hematology oncology at the UC College of Medicine and UC Health medical oncologist, says this study sheds light on a therapy that could be used alone or in combination to help patients with a number of cancers."

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Medical Xpress  |  Mar 11, 2014

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