Haven't heard about this vaccine before, when I'm searching the web for information about this protein I can't find much. Is this something sensational or just another small biotech-company heading towards the slippery slope of epic failness? Do you guys know anything about this specific technology? Where can I read more about it since I find it very interesting? What do you guys think about their success rate? Isn't this a really big thing if it happens to kill the metastatic cancer cells? If I've understood everything correct, a cancer patient will use conventional treatments for their parent tumor, and use this vaccine for the metastatic part of the cancer cells. They released this news last week (since I don't speak nor understand swedish/danish I google translated it): "RhoVac AB ("RhoVac") today announced, on May 19, 2017, that the first three patients in the company's clinical phase I / II study with RhoVac's cancer vaccine RV001 have now undergone a comprehensive safety assessment. The conclusion of this evaluation is that no safety issues hinder the continuation of the scheduled study, which means that future patients can start the study at shorter intervals.
RhoVac's Phase I / II clinical trial, comprising approximately 20 patients with diagnosed prostate cancer in control phase, started earlier this year and early April, the company announced that the first patient was dosed.
As prescribed in the clinical protocol, the first patient should have received two injections before the other patient can be treated. Provided no safety risks have been noted in the evaluation of the first patient after two doses, the other patient may be treated. Likewise, patients are evaluated number two and three, after which treatment of remaining patients can be started at shorter intervals, following collateral safety assessment of the first three patients.
The overall safety assessment of the first three patients in RhoVac's clinical study has now been terminated by the Safety Review Committee and the conclusion is that no safety issues hinder the continuation of the scheduled study. Therefore, the remaining patients in the study can now start at shorter intervals, and thus the study can progress according to plan, with scheduled completion and reporting in Q2 2018." The Scientific Concept
The immune system contains T cells. These can be programmed to become killer cells trained to find and eliminate cancer cells. Cancer cell membranes display bound complexes of fragments (a “fingerprint”) of the proteins that are present inside the cell. These protein fragments, and thus the fingerprint, can provide information about the cancer cell. For example, a high concentration (overexpression) of the protein RhoC indicates the cell is a cancer cell with the potential to metastasise. It is these cancer cells, with the fingerprint of overexpressed RhoC protein, that T cells can be programmed to recognise and eliminate using RhoVac’s cancer vaccine product RV001.
Upregulation (overexpression) of RhoC occurs in the cancer stage when cancer cells acquire the capacity to metastasise, or spread. This is often the stage when the disease is diagnosed. The immune system will only have been exposed to overexpression of RhoC for a relatively short period of time when the cancer vaccine therapy starts. This means the body’s acceptance of overexpressed RhoC will be less developed. The immune system can therefore more easily identify this overexpression as foreign and consequently attack the overexpressed cells.
RhoVac’s concept focuses on eliminating metastatic cancer cells that may escape treatment of the parent tumour via other methods. Because RhoC is not expressed in the parent tumour, the company goal is to use the developed product in combination with another therapy — specifically, treatment of the parent tumour by e.g. surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, followed by treatment with the therapeutic cancer vaccine to combat metastasis.
Main Candidate RV001
RV001 – an antigen – is administered through injection under the patient’s skin.
RV001 encounters dendritic cells – a type of white blood cell with a regulatory function in the immune system – which are present in the skin. These cells are specialised to capture, absorb and process antigens. These dendritic cells interact with naïve T cells, converting them to become target-specific killer cells. Helper cells are also formed, whose function is to strengthen the immune system’s disease-fighting capacity. A specific immune response is thus established against cells overexpressing RhoC –metastatic cancer cells. This response involves killer cells attacking the cancer cells and helper cells producing cytokines that strengthen the anticancer immune response.