• Press Release

Researchers Identify Potential Formula for Blood Cancer Vaccine

  • New York, NY
  • (December 19, 2019)

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a way to move precision immunotherapy forward by using genomics to inform immunotherapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, in December.

This is the first study to experimentally determine which byproducts from the mutation of tumors (known as neoantigens) have the ability to provoke the immune system into recognizing and killing cancer cells in multiple myeloma patients. The results provide the foundation for using neoantigen-targeting strategies such as cancer vaccines in future trials for multiple myeloma patients. Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of plasma cells affecting 30,000 people a year.

Next-generation sequencing data was analyzed to describe the landscape of neoantigens in 184 patients, and researchers identified neoantigen-specific immune cells triggered by immunotherapy. Additionally, they showed an increase in neoantigens in patients who had relapsed myeloma versus new patients, which may indicate potential for greater immune responses to immunotherapy in these patients. The study also identifies common neoantigens between patients, which could lead to new vaccine therapies.

“Tumor neoantigens represent excellent targets for immunotherapy, due to their specific expression in cancer tissue,” said Samir Parekh, MD, Associate Professor of Oncological Sciences and Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine. “Until now, there has been no direct evidence that DNA mutations induce neoantigen-specific T-cell responses following immunotherapy in multiple myeloma.”

Stemming from this research, co-author Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine, and colleagues are pursuing a clinical trial investigating the safety and responsiveness of a personalized neoantigen vaccine for the treatment of cancers including multiple myeloma.

This study was supported by the NIH (R21 CA223953) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.


About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai advances medicine and health through unrivaled education and translational research and discovery to deliver care that is the safest, highest-quality, most accessible and equitable, and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 415 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of the top 20 U.S. hospitals and is top in the nation by specialty: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” among the country’s best in four out of 10 pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and No. 14 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.