A Dendritic Cell Vaccine to Immunize Cancer Patients Against Mutated Neoantigens Expressed by the Autologous Cancer

Vaccines against non-viral cancers target mainly differentiation antigens, cancer testis antigens, and overexpressed antigens.  One common feature to these antigens is their presence in central immunological tolerance. Using these vaccines, T cells underwent depletion of high avidity clones directed against such antigens. This depletion can cause the loss of T cells bearing high affinity T cell receptors (TCRs) for their cognate antigens which have superior cytotoxic capacity, longer persistence in the tumor microenvironment, and decreased susceptibility to immune suppression.

The Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has identified more than 200 immunogenic epitopes from multiple cancer types including melanoma, ovarian, colorectal, lung and breast cancers. To use those defined neoantigens for therapeutic purposes, NCI researchers have developed a personalized dendritic cell (DC) vaccine.  Monocytes are isolated from patients’ apheresis, differentiated into DCs, loaded with immunogenic peptides and matured using a combination of cytokines and Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) ligands. These cells can then be administered to patients to prompt tumor-specific high avidity T cells against cancer-specific antigens.  This pipeline can be applied to any cancer type and can be completed rapidly.

The NCI, Surgery Branch, is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this dendritic cell vaccine. 

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Treatment of multiple cancer types
  • Personalized to the patient 
  • Increased cytotoxic capacity
  • Increased persistence in the tumor microenvironment
  • Decreased susceptibility to immune suppression

Development Stage:


Gal Cafri (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Paul Robbins (NCI)  ➽ more inventions...

Jared Gartner ()  ➽ more inventions...

Steven Rosenberg ()  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
Application No. 62/398,963
Application No. PCT/US2017/051981

Gros et al., Prospective identification of neoantigen-specific lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of melanoma patients.  PMID 26901407
Tran et al., Immunogenicity of somatic mutations in human gastrointestinal cancers. PMID 26516200

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing and research collaboration

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-280-2016
Updated: Aug 15, 2018