Development of a non-viral DNA cancer vaccine by combining liposome-mediated gene and immunostimulatory oligonucleotide delivery technologies

Vaccines offer a promising approach to prevent and treat cancer. Vaccines have the potential to overcome the failed immune response to cancer cells by priming the immune system to recognize and destroy these cells. But two issues hamper the success of generating cancer vaccines: the difficulty in identifying an appropriate tumour associated antigen (TAA) that would induce an anti-tumour response; and the availability of a safe but potent adjuvant (partner) therapy to boost the immune response against the antigen. Kaley Wilson is researching ways to overcome these obstacles and allow the creation of a non-viral DNA cancer vaccine. To accomplish this, she is using two lipid, or fat-based delivery systems to introduce TAA and adjuvant therapies into tumour cells. The combination of these two lipid-based technologies could support the development of a vaccine targeting a variety of cancers.