Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Development of a universal delivery system for tailor-made cancer vaccines

The potential of liposomal cancer vaccines

In a joint program the LUMC and LACDR have recently shown the potential of  liposomal cancer vaccines. The cancer vaccine is based on synthetic peptides with specific mutations of the patient’s tumor,  the so-called neo-epitopes.  These cancer-specific peptide sequences can be recognized by the T cell immune system and hence facilitate tumor destruction. In order to generate adequate immune responses the peptides are encapsulated in cationic liposomes and adjuvanted with a specific Toll-like receptor ligand. Both in vitro and in vivo models have shown the ability of this well-defined vaccine formulation to produce a strong anti-tumor response by cytotoxic (CD8+) and helper (CD4+) T-cells. Since the patient-specific peptides have a wide range of different physiochemical characteristics (e.g. hydropathy, pI) several methods will be investigated to reproducibly  encapsulate different peptides in cationic liposomes. The ability of these formulated peptides to elicit an anti-tumor response will be assessed in a variety of  in vitro and in vivo models. The most efficient and reproducible method will then be further developed towards production in the GMP-facility of the LUMC facilitating future clinical application of the personalised cancer vaccines.  

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