APBN New Site

APBN Developing Site

New Leukaemia Vaccine Developed

Researchers from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University develop a new precise therapeutic leukaemia vaccine.

Selection of leukaemia treatment differs based on a number of factors. Common methods for treatment include; chemotherapy, biological therapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant.

In a recent study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering the research team investigated antigens associated with leukaemia to devise a transport method with FDA-approved materials for the development of a novel leukaemia vaccine. This newly developed vaccine makes use of the self-healing polylactic acid microcapsules for co-encapsulating a new epitope peptide and PD-1 antibody.

Using a vaccine to treat leukaemia is not a new concept, but currently still in the development stage and many are still undergoing clinical trials.

“Our clinical findings revealed the high expression of EPS8 and PD-1/PD-L1 in leukaemia patients, which could be respectively used as a new type of leukaemia antigen and a checkpoint target for a leukaemia vaccine,” said Professor Li Yuhua from Zhujiang Hospital.

This newly developed leukaemia vaccine loads epitope peptides and PD-1 antibodies into polylactic acid microcapsules, its delivery is also facilitated by the unique self-healing feature of the microcapsule. Upon vaccination, the deposition and degradation of microcapsules at the local injection site lead to recruitment of activated antigen-presenting cells and sustained release of both the epitope peptides and PD-1 antibodies.

“With the synergism of these two aspects, we observed a significant improvement in specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte (CTL) activation,” said Professor Wei Wei from IPE.

To verify the availability of the new leukaemia vaccine using various epitope peptides, a number of animal and cellular models were used such as mouse, humanized cell line-derived leukaemia xenograft (CDX) and patient-derived leukaemia xenograft (PDX).

This current novel leukaemia vaccine formulation displayed better performance over a commercialized adjuvant for all tested leukaemia therapeutic models, showing that the novel microcapsule-based vaccine could provide hope against leukaemia antigens.

“With the advantages of FDA-approved polylactic acid material, convenience in preparing the vaccine formulation, diversity of vaccine components, and excellent therapeutic effect, the microcapsule-based vaccine exhibits great potential for clinical translation,” said Professor Ma Guanghui from IPE. [APBN]