Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine Suppress Metastasis

A therapeutic cancer vaccine targeting ED-A of fibronectin is showing good results and suppress metastasis.
A therapeutic cancer vaccine targeting ED-A of fibronectin
is showing good results and suppress metastasis. (Image source)
In a new study published in the scientific journal Oncotarget researchers show that a therapeutic vaccine directed against tumor vessels can reduce tumor burden and suppress formation of spontaneous lung metastases in a mouse model for metastatic breast cancer. The target molecule of the immunization strategy is the extra domain-A (ED-A) of fibronectin, a protein domain which is highly selective for the tumor vasculature in the adult.
 
The therapeutic effect of the vaccine was significant, despite the aggressive nature of the tumor model. Moreover, the vaccine induced an 80 percent reduction metastasis, which is an important finding considering that a majority of all deaths by cancer are caused by cancer that has spread in the body.
 
A major advantage of the approach is that the target molecule ED-A is present in the majority of solid tumors. Vaccination against ED-A could therefore provide a treatment strategy with broad applications in cancer therapy. Furthermore, the researchers show that their strategy for immunization against a self-molecule is highly efficient and can be achieved with an adjuvant (immunostimulatory compound included in vaccines) that is acceptable for use in the clinic. The lack of potent, but at the same time non-toxic and biodegradable adjuvants has been a major limitation in the development of therapeutic vaccines.
 
Another important aspect is that therapeutic vaccination (endogenous production of the target antibodies) can provide a cost-efficient alternative to administration of large amounts of monoclonal antibodies, currently in clinical use for cancer and other diseases. The high costs associated with monoclonal antibody-based therapies puts a significant strain on the health-care economy, which may limit accessibility for patients.