Scientists from Hormel Institute publish research that could lead to development of a melanoma vaccine

A team of scientists at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, led by George Aslanidi, PhD, Professor and leader of the Molecular Bioengineering and Cancer Vaccine research section, have published research that could lead to the development of a vaccine for melanoma.

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, causing about 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Dr. Aslanidi’s team has developed and tested a vaccine that was successful in treating a model that mimics human melanoma. The unique vaccine design helps the body to use its own immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells.  This novel vaccine platform significantly delays primary tumor growth, and clears the spread of the disease in lungs.

Dr. Aslanidi hopes that a similar approach can eventually be used to treat any type of cancer.

Dr. Aslanidi plans to conduct further studies to address important questions including vaccine dosing, vaccine boosting strategies, and applicability for other cancers.

This research was funded by community-funded grants from Paint the Town Pink and the 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon Postdoctoral Fellowship Award.

The article, “Tumor Antigen-loded AAV vaccine drives proactive immunity in a melanoma animal model” was first published in the journal Molecular Therapy Methods and Clinical Development.