Scientific Publications and Presentations

The oncogenic fusion protein DNAJB1-PRKACA can be specifically targeted by peptide-based immunotherapy in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma

October 27, 2022

Bauer, Kohler, Maringer, Bucher, Bilich, Zwich, Dicks, Nelde, ... & Walz
Journal article published in Nature Communications

This article describes work conducted at the University Hospital Tübingen on the creation of a therapeutic peptide vaccine for fibrolamellar carcinoma. Using FLC’s characteristic DNAJB1-PRKACA fusion protein, they designed a personalized peptide vaccine using fragments of that DNAJB1-PRKACA protein and administered it to a patient with FLC. The patient, a recipient of a liver transplant, had previously suffered multiple relapses which were treated surgically or with radiotherapy.

The vaccine stimulated the patient’s immune system to attack FLC cancer cells. Follow-up data up to month 18 after vaccination showed the persistence of strong DNAJB1-PRKACA-specific immune responses in the patient. The long-lasting T cell responses were mirrored by relapse-free survival of the patient (at the time of the publication), indicating the potential of DNAJB1-PRKACA-based vaccines to combat residual tumor cells.

Based on these results, the team in Tübingen, Germany has initiated a phase I clinical trial to evaluate the immunogenicity, safety and initial efficacy of the FusionVAC-22 based peptide vaccine, combined with an immune checkpoint inhibitor.

The full text of the publication can be accessed here.