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PCF Lays the Foundation for Roswell Park Vaccine Trial

January 27, 2012 -- Prostate Cancer Foundation funding to Drs. Jim Allison and Padmanee Sharma (who studied NY-ESO-1 and other tumor antigens for chemotherapy) provided a foundation for a research breakthrough made at Roswell Park Cancer Center. The cancer center announced a new clinical trial to test a vaccine that may prevent some cancers from recurring, including prostate cancers. This vaccine will train the patients’ own immune system to mount a response again the protein, Cancer Testis Antigen, or NY-ESO-1.

This protein NY-ESO-1 is usually expressed on male testes but gets overexpressed on cancerous cells. Preliminary studies have shown that NY-ESO-1 elicits immune responses to fight cancer. In the current clinical trial at Roswell Park Cancer Center, researchers will treat cancer patients with a combination of the anti-NY-ESO-1 vaccine and the medication rapamycin that affects cancer cell growth pathways. It is hoped that this combination will elicit a prolonged immune response against tumors.

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