New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
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IMAGE: This is a cancer vaccine platform, which consists of silver colored enveloped viruses, onto which a patient’s cancer peptides has been tied to (in white, green and pink). view more 

Credit: Vincenzo Cerullo

Researchers at the Faculty of Pharmacy have developed PeptiENV, a cancer vaccine platform, which can be used to improve the therapeutic efficacy of oncolytic enveloped viruses currently in clinical use. With the help of this new cancer vaccine platform, the activation of the human immune response against cancer cells becomes significantly more effective.

“What is actually the most remarkable insight concerning the PeptiENV cancer vaccine platform is that we are able to envelop oncolytic viruses with the patient’s own cancer peptides, enabling tailored targeted treatment,” says Erkko Ylösmäki, an Academy of Finland post-doctoral researcher working in the ImmunoViroTherapy Lab of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki.

Oncolytic viruses are naturally occurring viruses that have been modified to restrict their division into cancer cells only. Virotherapy is usually administered as an injection to the tumour or the abdominal cavity, or intravenously.

A virus enveloped with peptides through the PeptiENV platform can effectively “train” the patient’s own, locally active T cells to identify tumour cells. Thus,

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