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Vaccine to Treat Melanoma


Dorothee Herlyn and Rajasekharan Somasundaram

Tech ID

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.

Key Words
cancer vaccines, melanoma, mutated BRAF
Applications and Advantages

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.

Intellectual Property Status

PCT Application No. PCT/US2006/25324 (WO 2007/002811, published 01/4/2007); a U.S. application has been filed.

Licensing Opportunity

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.

Relevant Publication(s)

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