Mustafa Diken on the AACR conference 2017

Mainz, April – Mustafa Diken, PhD, presented on this year’s AACR conference 2017 our recent work on nanoparticles and RNA vaccine for cancer therapy. Immunotherapy has evolved as a promising alternative to conventional treatments against cancer. Thanks to its unique characteristics, mRNA can act not only as a source for antigen but also as an adjuvant for stimulating the immune system. Vaccination with tumor antigen-coding RNA has been shown to efficiently induce T cell responses and anti-tumor immunity in preclinical models and RNA-based vaccines are currently being tested in clinical trials with promising results.

Together with colleagues we have recently developed a novel class of systemically administered nanoparticulate RNA vaccines (RNA-LPX) acting by body-wide delivery of encoded antigens to APCs and simultaneous initiation of a strong type I IFN-driven immunostimulatory program. The RNA-to-lipid ratio was discovered to rule the biodistribution of RNA-LPX, irrespective of the types of lipids used, and a slightly negative particle net charge was enabling APC-specific internalization of RNA-LPX. RNA-LPX vaccines mimic the infectious non-self and thus mobilize both adaptive and innate immune mechanisms leading to strong effector and memory CD8 and CD4 T cell immunity against viral, mutant neo-antigens as well as self-antigens. These mechanisms were then able to reject progressive tumors in various mouse models of carcinoma. The simple but highly versatile design and production of RNA-LPX propose a universally applicable, first-in-class vaccine platform for cancer immunotherapy.

More on this subject can be found in our publication in the Nature Journal of Science and further information on this year’s AACR conference can be found on their official website.