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Sydney 2005: DNA Vaccination Against Myeloma Post Autologous or Allogeneic Transplantation
By Freda Stevenson
Dr. Stevenson presented data about DNA vaccination against MM post-autologous or -allogeneic transplantation. Tumor cells have cell surface glycoproteins, secreted and shed antigens, and MHC class I associated peptides, all which may be targets for immune therapy. For DNA vaccines, there are 2 options to consider: to overcome tolerance issues or to vaccinate a donor who is immunocompetent. To improve uptake (transfection) of the DNA vaccines, electroporation of the vaccine into muscle tissue was tested in a mouse model. Issues to be resolved include determining the immune status of MM patients, the clinical setting where DNA vaccines should be used, and whether MM patients can respond to conventional vaccines. Preliminary results show that MM patients can respond to conventional vaccines. Patients are able to mount an immune response. At 1 year after transplant, patients were responding and recovering so this was considered a reasonable time to administer the DNA vaccine. Studies showed that DNA fusion vaccines are convenient and are an easy way to attack MM tumor cells.

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