Vaccine Immunotherapy

Research, led by surgeon Dr. Joshua Ellenhorn, is exploring a vaccine that could kill solid cancer tumors by supercharging the body’s immune system. About half of all cancer is the result of a mutation that turns off a cell’s ability to regulate growth, resulting in rapid growth of the solid tumors responsible for the most common forms of lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer.
P53 is a naturally occurring protein that is overabundant in tumor cells. Dr. Ellenhorn’s lab is developing a vaccine that targets this over-expression by stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the p53 protein and the cancer cells in which it is over-expressed. Already, researchers are moving to the next step of preparing and evaluating the vaccine for human cancer patients a few years from now.
City of Hope’s research into the relationship between breast cancer and p53 has garnered an NIH grant to develop a vaccine based on this research. While much of the current cancer vaccine research in people focuses on individualized vaccines, this is the first that suggests a more generalized approach could be