Common Cancer Vaccine Component Backfires in Mice

New research in Nature Medicine explains why a melanoma vaccine doesn’t work as well as expected and suggests that there may be a simple fix. The vaccine includes a protein meant to stimulate the immune response against melanoma tumors and a mineral oil-based component called IFA, intended to boost the overall immune response. But IFA backfired in mice, accumulating in—and boosting the immune response against—the injection site rather than the tumors. Switching from IFA to a saline-based component was enough to make the vaccine shrink tumors. This gives hope for increasing the effectiveness of the many other peptide-based cancer vaccines. Read more about this story at Cancer Commons’ Need to Know blog.