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Cornell makes cancer vaccine for clinical use
Date:8/20/2009

ITHACA, N.Y. The Bioproduction Facility at Cornell University has produced the first batch of NY-ESO-1 recombinant proteina cancer vaccinethat will be used in clinical trials for patients facing either ovarian cancer or melanoma. The facility was developed as a partnership between The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Cornell University.

The melanoma trial is being conducted at New York University Medical Center, while the ovarian cancer vaccine trial is being conducted at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. The trials are assessing the safety and the anti-tumor immune response of the NY-ESO-1-specific therapeutic cancer vaccine alone and in combination with other agents, according to the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), an organization that has recently given $450,000 to Cornell to support vaccine production at the Facility.

The goal of these trials is to maximize the body's immune response to the NY-ESO-1 protein. "Making NY-ESO-1 available for these clinical trials allows investigators to test ways to develop effective cancer vaccines," says Carl A. Batt, Cornell Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Food Science and director of the Bioproduction Facility.

Batt says: "This vaccine is not intended to prevent cancer, but one that will stimulate the body to fight an existing tumor. The challenge is that the vaccine is made from moleculesproteinsthat are found in our own bodies and do not normally induce strong immune responses. So part of this trial is to understand how to make the body react to these molecules and attack the cancer."

In 1997, Lloyd J. Old, then-scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Ltd (LICR), and Yao-Tseng Chen, surgical and molecular pathologist at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, discovered the NY-ESO-1 cancer/testis antigen, which has been found to be expressed by many different cancer types. NY-ESO-1 has been the central focus of the C
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Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

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