Dr. Mark Zuckow
University of Kentucky
Cancer remains a significant disease that affects millions worldwide, even though great progress has been made in strategies related to diagnosis and treatment. The idea that the immune system can be strategically harnessed as an approach to cancer treatment offers possibilities for therapy that have recently received great attention. A significant challenge is posed to this approach by the antigenic diversity and evolutionary capability of many tumors. That is, while tumors may share some common antigens, all may not be therapeutically relevant; and failure to include pertinent antigens can doom successful treatment. Indeed, tumors can be complex tissues that carry a vast menu of antigenic target. For this reason, preparations derived directly from harvested tumor tissue (tissue vaccines) have been used to stimulate the immune system against cancer. This lecture will describe discovery and development of tissue vaccines, beginning in rodent tumor models through initial commercialization as a product for treatment of cancer in dogs.