DNA vaccine for cancers expressing hTERT
Human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) is an attractive DNA vaccine target in cancer immunotherapy. High levels of hTERT have been detected in more than 85% of all human cancers, while normal cells showed undetectable levels of telomerase expression. Immunological analysis indicated that the hTERT is a widely applicable target recognized by T cells and can be potentially used as a universal cancer vaccine. Inovio has developed a highly optimized synthetic hTERT DNA vaccine designed to target multiple cancers expressing the antigen hTERT, including non-small cell lung carcinoma, breast cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer. When delivered by electroporation, the vaccine induced strong and broad hTERT-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in rodents and in non-human primates.
The hTERT DNA vaccine has induced strong and broad hTERT-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses in rodents and non-human primates in preclinical studies.
Approximately 690,000 new cases in aggregate of breast, non-small cell lung and prostate cancers will be diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone. Despite currently available treatments, 228,000 people die of these cancers in the U.S. each year.
1Data compiled from American Cancer Society, Inc., Cancer Facts and Figures 2012 and Surveillance Research: Leading New Cancer Cases and Deaths – 2012 Estimates. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2012.
There are no clinical trials scheduled at this time for hTERT.
There is no study data for hTERT at this time.
The antigen hTERT or "human telomerase reverse transcriptase," is a ribonucleoprotein that maintains telomeres. Telomeres protect the end of chromosomes from destructing and causing cell death. The human cell divides anywhere from 60-100 times throughout its life cycle. Each time this division occurs, telomeres are shortened until they no longer serve to protect the chromosome. This is the basis for the aging process in humans. As cells die, they are no longer able to replicate newer, fresher cells, hence causing our bodies to age.
The telomerase protein is usually repressed, resulting in progressive shortening of telomeres and normal cell death. When telomerase begins to function abnormally, the cell can become immortal. This process is thought to be important in the development of several types of cancer.
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