In most leukemia patients that receive conventional treatment with chemotherapy, the disease comes back within 1-3 years. The reason for that is that small numbers of leukemic cells remain untouched by the treatment, and those cells can grow out again. Many companies and academic groups are therefore engaged in the search for novel treatment methods that can prevent or block the outgrowth of such remaining cells. Among the most promising methods are those that stimulate the immune system to attack residual leukemic cells. Such immune-stimulating treatments would render high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation treatments obsolete.

DCPrime is developing a vaccine which can prevent the outgrowth of leukemic cells, and a Phase I/IIa study with 12 patients has just been completed. The results are very promising: treatment is well-tolerated, and clear evidence for induction of a multifunctional immune response has been obtained. Both antibody and T cell proliferative responses are induced, and tumor-antigen specific immune responses are generated against WTY-1, PRAME and NYEso1. Remarkably, several long-term survivors have emerged from the patient group who do not show progressive disease during the vaccination period. The next steps are now to further dissect, together with LUMC and Batavia Bioservices, how the vaccine works, such that it can be further optimized, and large patient groups can profit from this novel non-toxic treatment.

Fast facts
Project title: Development of a platform for the large scale and reproducible production of dendritic cell vaccines for the treatment of multiple cancer types
Short project title: Off-the-shelf antigen-loaded dendritic cell vaccines
Start date: 1-11-2012
End date: 31-10-2014
Goals: To dissect the mode of action of the DC platform which DCPrime is developing as a source for off-the-shelf dendritic cell vaccines and to develop assays to monitor DCOne-based vaccine efficacy
Project budget: 1.2 M
Principal Investigator: Prof Dr Ada M. Kruisbeek, DCPrime Partners: DC Prime, Batavia Bioservices, LUMC


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