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Cancer Vaccine Tracking 
Molecular imaging to improve T cell immunotherapy of cancer 
Principal Investigator:
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  Ferry A. Ossendorp, LUMC 
“The Cancer Vaccine Tracking project is highly important to understanding the in-vivo behavior of clinically active synthetic peptide vaccines in cancer patients through the use of imaging techniques. A multidisciplinary approach is crucial to studying the chemical, immunological and pharmaceutical aspects of tumor-specific vaccination in detail and to bringing cancer immunotherapy to a higher level.”
Tracking of cancer vaccine in the human body

For the development of new therapies against cancer it is crucial to know how the drugs that are injected into patients behave in the human body. This also holds for our newly developed immunotherapy of cancer, in which we direct specific cells of the immune system (T lymphocytes) to the cancer cells which are then killed and removed from the body. This treatment is named “therapeutic vaccination” The main advantage of this type of specific therapy is that no side-effects are expected in contrast to chemo- or radiotherapy. Nevertheless the immune system is very potent and it is very important to avoid undesirable side effects, such as inflammation and autoimmunity. Therefore, we want to precisely track the different components of our therapeutic vaccine in the patient’s body in relation to the route and timing after injection. In our optimal vaccine we use combinations of parts of proteins (long peptides) which are derived from the tumor and two different compounds which can strongly activate the immune system and of which we know from animal studies that these can expand cancer-specific T lymphocytes to high numbers. The individual components of the vaccine will be coupled to a fluorescent dye by which we can track the components alone or in combination by very sensitive, modern scanning devices. We will also investigate the possibility to encapsulate the peptides and the stimulating compounds in small packages (nanoparticles). The advantage is that the vaccine and the stimulating compounds will be slowly released and will be delivered optimally to the site of action, i.e. the lymph nodes. This project will be carried out by 4 research groups and two small companies which are all specialized in the important areas of this project: immunology, chemistry, imaging, pharmacy and cancer therapy.
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Partners in Cancer Vaccine Tracking:
Leiden UMC (LUMC)
Leiden University
Utrecht University
Percuros BV
ISA Pharmaceuticals
The three Public Private Partnerships BMM, CTMM and TI Pharma initiated a call for proposals for research focused on the interface of the three institutes: Imaging Guided and Targeted Drug Delivery.
The projects emerging from this joint call for proposals represent the first example of an interdisciplinary public-private consortium that encompasses competencies from all three institutes. Projects are performed by academia and industry in close cooperation.
Cancer Vaccine Tracking is one of the joint call projects funded by CTMM.




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