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  • Conversation: CR UK tests Asterias’ novel lung cancer immunotherapy jab

    • June 12, 2018 1:03 PM BST
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      CR UK tests Asterias’ novel lung cancer immunotherapy jab

      Cancer Research UK has begun testing a novel immunotherapy vaccine for lung cancer in Phase I trials, under a collaboration agreement with Asterias Biotherapeutics.
      AST-VAC2, which came to the charity via its Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP) scheme, is derived from a standardised human embryonic stem cell line as opposed to from a patient’s own cells, a process which is “costly, slow and inefficient”.
      Its dendritic cells are engineered to express a modified form of telomerase, a protein almost always present at high levels in various types of cancer cells but rarely in healthy cells.
      This modified form of telomerase, called hTERT, can stimulate a natural immune response targeted at cancer cells.
      Researchers hope that the vaccine will prove to be effective in preventing recurrence of the lung cancer, or in combination with other therapies treat patients with advanced disease.
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