Vaccine to Treat Melanoma
Dorothee Herlyn and Rajasekharan Somasundaram
Wistar scientists have developed novel peptides that mimic a BRAF mutation (BRAFV600E) which is expressed in a majority of melanomas. These mutated BRAF peptides stimulate T cell proliferation in melanoma patients who express HLA-2; this HLA type is expressed by about 50% of melanoma patients. Vaccines against BRAFV600E may induce both Class I and Class II-restricted lymphocyte responses and, as such, would be a useful tool for immunotherapy of melanoma.
In pre-clinical studies, 4 of 5 melanoma patients with BRAFV600E-positive lesions mounted a significant immune response (T cell proliferation) to stimulation with BRAFV600E peptide, thus demonstrating the feasibility of this immunotherapy in melanoma patients.
Melanoma is a very serious and increasingly prevalent skin cancer. More than 100,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year and the incidence of this cancer is increasing by about 10% annually. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and the sixth most common cancer in women, causing over 7,500 deaths in the U.S. each year. The Wistar technology represents a novel therapeutic approach for this lethal disease.
PCT Application No. PCT/US2006/25324 (WO 2007/002811, published 01/4/2007); a U.S. application has been filed.
This technology is available for exclusive license to a company developing vaccines against melanoma. Sponsored research to further develop the technology will also be considered.
Somasundaram et al. (2006) Human Leokocyte Antigen-A2-Restricted CTL Responses to Mutated BRAF Peptides in Melanoma Patients, Cancer Research Vol. 66 No. 6, 3287-3293