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Development of cancer prevention vaccine

In Japan, despite the fact that one in two people suffers from cancer for the lifetime, little progress has been made in research on its positive precautionary measures. Up to now, environmental factors tended to be emphasized as a cause of causing cancer, but an interesting article was announced that most of the causes of cancer onset are DNA replication errors. If so, the concept of detecting DNA mutation at an early stage and preventing the onset of cancer by the concept of cancer vaccine using the information of that mutation becomes more important. Because it is an era when all the gene mutations of individuals are easily understood, it is considered possible to prepare individualized cancer vaccines in the future as well. Combined with analysis of cancer DNA flowing in the blood, even in the absence of information on the cancer tissue of the patient, even for those without cancer, this individualized cancer vaccine may be able to prevent cancer.

We have undertaken clinical development of a cancer peptide vaccine targeted to glypican-3 (GPC3) which is highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma. Of course cancer-specific proteins such as GPC3 could be a promising target for preventive vaccines. In addition, we have confirmed that GPC3 is also expressed in iPS cells, and GPC3-targeted immunotherapy is effective for prevention of teratoma development. iPS cells themselves or proteins that are highly expressed in both iPS cells and cancer cells could also be promising tools for cancer prevention vaccines. We dream of becoming an era of trying cancer prevention using both diagnosing the risk of cancer with blood and cancer prevention vaccine.