IMMUNISA facilitates a multidisciplinary collaboration between leading European clinical sites specialised in cervical cancer, a partner providing excellent regulatory service and a cutting-edge biotech SME.
Cervical cancer is caused by high risk subtypes of the human papillomavirus. Prophylactic vaccination is not the standard of care in many countries, and where approved, implementation is far from complete. Once infected, prophylactic vaccines no longer prevent the development of cervical cancer, which can only be treated with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
With an estimated impact of almost 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 274,000 deaths per year worldwide, the need for an effective therapy to treat recurrent/metastatic cervical cancer is extremely high. Targeted immunotherapy is an effective approach to induce a tumour directed immune response. This response can be induced with a vaccine that mediates expression of immunogenic antigens by dendritic cells, which in turn cause a strong T-cell mediated immune response directed towards diseased cells with similar antigens.
IMMUNISA proposes the use immunotherapeutic platform of Synthetic Long Peptides to mediate dendritic cell antigen expression, resulting in robust T-cell responses against the cancer. In a multi-centre randomised Phase II clinical trial, IMMUNISA will investigate if a vaccine in combination with chemotherapy can prolong the progression free survival rate of people with cervical cancer. The project will run from 2017 to 2021.
The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) ensures the project’s compliance with the needs of the people with cancer and is involved in the work package responsible for project management and dissemination.
ECPC also promotes project findings to all its Members through the monthly newsletter, the website and social media platforms.
IMMUNISA is funded by Horizon 2020: the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.