T-cellT-cells (red) shown accumulating inside a transplanted tumour (green)Cancer vaccines are considered an important strategic approach in the treatment against cancer. The problem is that the development of cancer therapeutics has its foundation based upon the use of either traditional cytotoxic drugs or biological products. Traditional cancer drug single endpoints are not applicable in the assessment of cancer vaccines. For example toxicity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics testing has a different perspective when monitoring vaccines. To improve cancer vaccine strategies, it is necessary to dissect the response to cancer vaccines so that obstacles to successful immune therapy can be identified and addressed. The induction of effective anti-tumour immunity by cancer vaccines depends on multiple sequential events: antigen delivery to antigen-presenting cells, migration of antigen-laden dendritic cells to draining lymph nodes, antigen presentation to circulating T-cells that enter the lymph nodes, expansion of antigen reactive T-cells in the lymph nodes, dissemination of the responding T-cells systemically to tumour deposits and tumour cell destruction by activated tumour-reactive T-cells.

We are developing in vivo orthogonal assay formats using optical imaging with multiplex immune response readouts after cancer vaccine administration.

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