Launching an immune attack on melanoma

UniSA researchers have developed a powerful new vaccine technology that could soon be used to stimulate the immune system to strike a killer blow against melanoma.

UniSA researchers have developed a powerful new vaccine technology that could soon be used to stimulate the immune system to strike a killer blow against melanoma.

The research team are worldleaders in creating effective vaccine delivery systems – the tools required to successfully deliver vaccines into cells to provoke an immune response to disease.

“Our work in mosquito-borne disease vaccines is proving suitable as an immunotherapy for melanoma,” says Professor John Hayball, Head of the Experimental Therapeutics Lab.

“Immunotherapies that teach the immune system to attack cells based on the presence of certain molecules are highly sought after for cancers. Our treatment vaccine will be loaded with a substance to stimulate the immune system to target and destroy melanoma cells.

“Our new vaccine technology will teach the immune system to launch an effective attack on melanoma cells.”

Professor John Hayball, a leading immunologist working in disease control.

“Skin can also elicit its own anti-tumour response by activating special immune defending T-cells. To capitalise on this extra immune response, our vaccine will be delivered by a small micro-patch, similar in appearance to a small round band-aid, but with a rough surface that injects the vaccine into the skin.

“These types of therapies can eliminate tumour cells while sparing healthy cells thus minimising the side effects that often plague cancer patients and survivors.”

This ground-breaking vaccine technology could also offer immunotherapy for other diseases, such as prostate cancer.