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Vol 24, No. 11, November 2020   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
New Leukaemia Vaccine Developed
Researchers from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University develop a new precise therapeutic leukaemia vaccine.

Selection of leukaemia treatment differs based on a number of factors. Common methods for treatment include; chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant.

In a recent study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering the research team investigated antigens associated with leukaemia to devise a transport method with FDA-approved materials for the development of a novel leukaemia vaccine. This newly developed vaccine makes use of the self-healing polylactic acid microcapsules for co-encapsulating a new epitope peptide and PD-1 antibody.

Using a vaccine to treat leukaemia is not a new concept, but currently still in the development stage and many are still undergoing clinical trials.

“Our clinical findings revealed the high expression of EPS8 and PD-1/PD-L1 in leukaemia patients, which could be respectively used as a new type of leukaemia antigen and a checkpoint target for a leukaemia vaccine,” said Professor Li Yuhua from Zhujiang Hospital.

This newly developed leukaemia vaccine loads epitope peptides and PD-1 antibodies into polylactic acid microcapsules, its delivery is also facilitated by the unique self-healing feature of the microcapsule. Upon vaccination, the deposition and degradation of microcapsules at the local injection site lead to recruitment of activated antigen-presenting cells and sustained release of both the epitope peptides and PD-1 antibodies.

“With the synergism of these two aspects, we observed a significant improvement in specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte (CTL) activation,” said Professor Wei Wei from IPE.

To verify the availability of the new leukaemia vaccine using various epitope peptides, a number of animal and cellular models were used such as mouse, humanized cell line-derived leukaemia xenograft (CDX) and patient-derived leukaemia xenograft (PDX).

This current novel leukaemia vaccine formulation displayed better performance over a commercialized adjuvant for all tested leukaemia therapeutic models, showing that the novel microcapsule-based vaccine could provide hope against leukaemia antigens.

“With the advantages of FDA-approved polylactic acid material, convenience in preparing the vaccine formulation, diversity of vaccine components, and excellent therapeutic effect, the microcapsule-based vaccine exhibits great potential for clinical translation,” said Professor Ma Guanghui from IPE.


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