DepoVax drug and vaccine combination cuts tumor immunosuppression

Part of the success of some cancers is that they can damp down the immune response and hide from its effects, and this can also cut the response to cancer vaccines. Immunovaccine's DepoVax formulation for vaccines has been designed to boost the immune response, but the vaccine still has to battle the tumor-induced immune suppression. In a presentation at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, the company is developing a comeback to this: suppress the suppression. The researchers treated mice with cancer with a low dose of the immunosuppressant metronomic cyclophosphamide (mCPA) or Immunovaccine's cancer vaccine, or a combination of the two, and found that while the single treatments could not control the cancer, the combination was effective. The company is testing the combination of its DPX-Survivac vaccine that targets survivin with mCPA in ovarian cancer patients. Marc Mansour, Immunovaccine's chief science officer, said: "We showed that a cancer vaccine can be more successful when a tumor is simultaneously assaulted by more than one method. Compounds that are immune modulating, anti-angiogenic or even chemotherapeutic may combine extremely well with a vaccine approach." Press release | Abstract | Poster (.pdf)