Prostate Cancer Vaccine Programme

Programme Leader: Dr Irina Redchenko

Background

Prostate Cancer homepage
Urograph of enlarged prostate

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent non-dermatologic malignancy and the second most common cause of cancer-related death among men in developed countries.

With the treatment options for advanced stage prostate cancer being limited and palliative, an immunotherapy has been evolving as a promising alternative and culminated by the FDA approval of Sipuleucel-T as the first antigen-specific cancer vaccine.

This individualized treatment costs over $90,000 per patient and provides a modest survival benefit of 4 months. Taking into account the cost-benefit ratio and lack of a mechanistic explanation of the clinical benefit, less expensive standard immunisation approach is highly desirable.

Research Aims

Prostate Cancer Vaccine is an initial programme in cancer immunology for the Jenner Institute. It builds on the technology developed in the Institute, simian adenovirus - MVA prime-boost vaccination regime, which allows generation of the strongest recorded sustained CD8+ T cell immune responses in humans of any subunit vaccine approach and has uniquely provided CD8+ T cell mediated protection against infectious disease. The pre-clinical part of the programme will address the question of whether these viral vectors encoding prostate-specific antigens can break immunological tolerance to tself antigens and induce tumour protective prostate specific immune response.

We will undertake comparative immunogenicity and efficacy assessment of a range of new and old cancer antigens in a well defined pre-clinical mouse model of prostate cancer immunotherapy, the TRansgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate (TRAMP). This should lead to the identification of the most effective antigen(s) for clinical development as an immunotherapeutic.

Clinical trials

In parallel with pre-clinical development of the novel vaccine transgenes, a Phase I clinical trial in low and intermediate risk prostate cancer patients has been planned to assess the already defined tumour-associated antigen 5T4 as a prostate cancer vaccine target in the context of  simian adenovirus - MVA prime-boost immunization regime. Being successful as a prostate cancer vaccine, this vaccination platform can be broadly applicable to other cancer types.

Group members

Dr Irina Redchenko, Programme Leader
Meg Baker, Clinical Research Nurse
Federica Cappuccini, Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Andrea Baines, Project Manager
Emily Pollock, Research Assistant