The researchers developing a nano vaccine for the most aggressive skin cancer; By this developing an novel nano-vaccine for melanoma; the most aggressive type of skin cancer. Their innovative approach has so far proven effective in preventing the development of melanoma and in treating primary tumors and metastases that result from melanoma.
The focus of the research is on a nanoparticle that serves as the basis for the new vaccine. Melanoma develops in the skin cells that produce melanin or skin pigment. The war against cancer in general, and melanoma in particular, has advanced over the years through a variety of treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy; but the vaccine approach, which has proven so effective against various viral diseases, has not materialized yet against cancer.
The study showing that it is possible to produce an effective nano-vaccine against melanoma; and to sensitize the immune system to immunotherapies. The researchers harnessed tiny particles; about 170 nanometers in size, made of a biodegradable polymer. The nanoparticles acted just like known vaccines for viral-borne diseases. The melanoma cells; this meant that, from now on, the immune system of the immunized will attack melanoma cells if and when they appear in the body.
Nano vaccine for skin cancer
The researchers then examined the effectiveness of the vaccine under three different conditions. The study showing that combining cancer nanovaccines; with an anti-PD-1 antibody (αPD-1) for immuno suppression blockade and an anti-OX40 antibody (αOX40) for effector T-cell stimulation; expansion and survival can potentiate the efficacy of melanoma therapy.
Prophylactic and therapeutic combination regimens of dendritic cell-targeted mannosylated nanovaccines with αPD-1/αOX40 demonstrate a synergism that stimulates T-cell infiltration into tumours at early treatment stages. However, this treatment at the therapeutic regimen does not result in an enhanced inhibition of tumour growth compared to αPD-1/αOX40 alone and is accompanied by an increased infiltration of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in tumours.
Approach for effective treatment
Combining the double therapy with ibrutinib, a myeloid-derived suppressor cell inhibitor, leads to a remarkable tumour remission and prolonged survival in melanoma-bearing one. But the late-stage melanoma brain metastases; had already been established following excision of the primary melanoma lesion, mimicking the clinical setting.
However, the research opening the door to a completely new approach the vaccine approach for effective treatment of melanoma; even in the most advanced stages of the disease. But the researchers believing that our platform may also be suitable for other types of cancer; and that our work is a solid foundation for the development of other cancer nano-vaccines.