We are exploring therapeutic vaccines as immunotherapy for metastatic cancer. We've created vaccines containing guanylyl cyclase C (GUCY2C), an antigen expressed in normal intestinal epithelium and all primary and metastatic human colorectal cancer (CRC) specimens. Immunization elicited CD8⁺ T, but not CD4⁺ T or B, cell responses in multiple strains of mice. Moreover, responses effectively prevented the development of CRC metastases in lung and liver and treated established CRC metastases in the lungs. This occurred in the absence of autoimmunity against normal GUCY2C-expressing tissues. Currently, we are collaborating with a large multi-disciplinary team of investigators, including laboratory-based scientists, medical and surgical oncologists, pathologists, statisticians, and clinical trial professionals to test GUYC2C vaccines in gastric, esophageal, pancreatic, and colon cancer patients, with the hope that this vaccine can improve the survival of patients with these cancers.
GUCY2C Vaccine Efficacy
PET images of mice with metastatic colorectal cancer in the lungs immunized with control (left) or GUCY2C vaccine (right).