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A duo of personalized therapies take on advanced ovarian cancer

Sara Bobisse, Ludwig Cancer Research Lausanne
Sara Bobisse
Lana Kandalaft, Ludwig Cancer Research Lausanne
Lana Kandalaft
Alexandre Harari, Ludwig Cancer Research Lausanne
Alexandre Harari
George Coukos, Ludwig Cancer Research Lausanne
George Coukos

Ludwig Lausanne’s Sara Bobisse, Lana Kandalaft, Alexandre Harari and director George Coukos reported in Nature Cancer in September that combining adoptive T cell therapy with a personalized, dendritic cell cancer vaccine under development at the Branch can benefit patients with late-stage, drug-resistant ovarian cancer. The researchers analyzed responses to the combination therapy in patients who had previously participated in a clinical trial evaluating a regimen that included the vaccine. In this study—done, as before, in partnership with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania—those patients received an infusion of their own vaccine-primed, circulating T cells followed by multiple periodic doses of personalized vaccines. The combination vaccine-adoptive T cell therapy (ACT), which was found to be generally safe, yielded control of the disease within three months in 12 of 17 patients. Though this was not a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the study recorded a median overall survival time of 14.2 months for patients who completed the regimen, compared to a median historical survival of six months or less for comparable patients receiving fourth- and fifth-line chemotherapy. The researchers also showed that T cells targeting the neoantigens were reinvigorated by the combination therapy and correlated with positive patient responses to the treatment. Further, DNA sequences encoding neoantigens targeted by the T cells were found at higher levels in circulating tumor DNA, suggesting a vaccine-directed attack against cancer cells.

A phase 1 trial of adoptive transfer of vaccine-primed autologous circulating T cells in ovarian cancer
Nature Cancer, 2023 September 21

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