Treating cancer with personalized vaccines

Mayo Clinic researchers are working on developing vaccines that would deliver therapeutic cancer treatment designed to target an individual’s unique tumor characteristics.

A person’s distinctive tumor protein mutations are known as neoantigens. The vaccines in development would contain the patient’s neoantigens, which the immune system would recognize as a foreign invader, producing a defensive response.

Researchers found when they paired the vaccines with immunotherapy in preclinical animal models, there was prolonged survival without significant toxicity.

"The hope is that we'll be able to recapitulate those findings in humans," says Keith Knutson, Ph.D., co-leader of the Grohne Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida and co-creator of Mayo Clinic's Neoantigen Personalized Vaccine Program.

Learn more in Discovery’s Edge, Mayo Clinic’s research magazine.

Luci Gens

Luci Gens is a senior marketing specialist. She joined Mayo Clinic in 2022 and has over ten years of experience in hospital-based marketing and communications.