Researchers led by Ludwig Lausanne’s Lana Kandalaft, Cheryl Chiang and Alexandre Harari published the results of the latest study advancing a personalized dendritic cell vaccine for ovarian cancer (OCDC) in a March paper in Nature Partner Journals: Vaccines. The OCDC vaccine involves pulsing dendritic cells—which direct T cells to tumors and stimulate their activity—from a patient with an extract of her ovarian tumor to create a personalized dendritic cell vaccine. When combined with standard ovarian cancer therapies cyclophosphamide and the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab in an open label clinical trial, the vaccine was previously shown to extend the lives of patients with late stage ovarian cancer. In the current study, the researchers showed that adding aspirin and the immune factor IL-2 to the mix elicited vaccine-specific T-cell responses that positively correlated with patients’ prolonged time-to-progression and overall survival in a small clinical trial. Aspirin counteracts a mechanism by which tumors inhibit T cell infiltration, while IL-2 is a potent stimulator of T cell proliferation. Those results were reflected in the ID8 ovarian cancer mouse model. An immunological analysis of the mice confirmed that the two new drugs added to the mix had the intended effect of suppressing mechanisms of T cell exclusion from tumors and boosting T cell numbers.
This article appeared in the August 2021 issue of Ludwig Link. Click here to download a PDF (2MB).