Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prostate Cancer Vaccine Effective In Mice, Study Shows

Date:
February 5, 2008
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Researchers have developed a prostate cancer vaccine that prevented the development of cancer in 90 percent of young mice genetically predestined to develop the disease. They suggest the same strategy might work for men with rising levels of PSA, a potential diagnostic indicator of prostate cancer.

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a prostate cancer vaccine that prevented the development of cancer in 90 percent of young mice genetically predestined to develop the disease. In the February 1 issue of Cancer Research, they suggest the same strategy might work for men with rising levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen), a potential diagnostic indicator of prostate cancer.

"By early vaccination, we have basically given these mice life-long protection against a disease they were destined to have," said the study's lead investigator, W. Martin Kast, Ph.D., a professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This has never been done before and, with further research, could represent a paradigm shift in the management of human prostate cancer."

Now, men with rising PSA levels but no other signs of cancer are advised "watchful waiting" -- no treatment until signs of the cancer appear, Kast says. "But what if instead of a watchful wait, we vaccinate" That could change the course of the disease."

The study findings also represent a new way to think about the use of therapeutic prostate cancer vaccines, Kast says. Vaccines now in testing are designed to treat men whose cancers are advanced and unresponsive to therapy, and results have offered limited clinical benefit, he says. This novel approach targets the precancerous state with the aim of preventing cancer from developing, he says.

The Kast team's preventive vaccine is designed to mount an immune response against prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), the protein target of some therapeutic vaccines under development. PSCA, a membrane protein, is over-expressed in about one-third of early-stage prostate cancers, but expression ramps up in all prostate tumors as they grow and advance. PSCA is also expressed at low-levels in normal prostate gland tissue as well as in the bladder, colon, kidney and stomach.

The researchers created a prime-boost vaccination scheme using two kinds of vaccines and tested it in 8-week-old mice that were genetically altered to develop prostate cancer later in life. The first vaccine simply delivered a fragment of DNA that coded for PSCA, thus producing an influx of PSCA protein to alert the immune system. The booster shot, given two weeks later, used a modified horse virus to deliver the PSCA gene.

"Confronting the immune system in two different ways forces it to mount a strong response," Kast said.

In the experimental group, two of 20 mice developed prostate cancer at the end of one year, and by contrast, all control mice had died of the disease. Researchers found that mice in the experimental group had all developed very small tumors that did not progress. "There were tiny nodules of prostate cancer in the mice that were surrounded by an army of immune system cells," Kast said. "The vaccination turned the cancer into a chronic, manageable disease."

The vaccination strategy also works with other antigens, Kast says. The researchers recently tried another prostate cancer membrane target and found that after 1.5 years, 65 percent of experimental mice were still alive, and of those that died, the suspected cause was old age.

Crucially, investigators further found that treated mice did not develop autoimmune disease, a side effect that could develop if the vaccine had also targeted PSCA expression in normal cells. "Theoretically, the vaccine could produce a response in any tissue that expresses the antigen, but the fact that PSCA is expressed in such low levels in normal tissue may prevent that complication," he said.

Still, studies in humans are needed to ensure autoimmunity does not develop, Kast says.

"We feel this is a very promising approach," he said. "With just two shots, the vaccine will prime immune cells to be on the lookout for any cell that over-expresses PSCA."

The study was funded by a pre-doctoral training grant from the National Institutes of Health and a grant from the Margaret E. Early Medical Research Trust. Co-authors include researchers from the University of Southern California as well as from AlphaVax, inc., of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Prostate Cancer Vaccine Effective In Mice, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085635.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2008, February 5). Prostate Cancer Vaccine Effective In Mice, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085635.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Prostate Cancer Vaccine Effective In Mice, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085635.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins