Distinguished Professor Magdalena Plebanski of RMIT University, co-lead of the project and holder of the SOLACE2 Translational Research Chair, said the multidisciplinary research team would work to develop two types of vaccines to fight cancer. These would be personalized vaccines capable of stimulating an individual’s immune response and vaccines that promote broad immunity.
“Vaccine innovation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic offers new avenues for deploying potential vaccines against non-traditional vaccine targets, such as cancer,” said Professor Plebanski, Head of the Cancer, Aging and Vaccines Laboratory. at the School of Health and Biomedicine. Science and Director of the Biomedical and Health Innovation Enabling Capacities Platform at RMIT.
“We are grateful to the Cancer, Aging and Vaccine Laboratory for this timely funding, which allows us to identify key targets for ovarian cancer vaccines.
“In addition to identifying targets to help treat and prevent the recurrence of existing cancers, our ultimate goal and motivation is to have vaccines that stop cancer from taking root and spreading in the first place, which which will help prevent enormous suffering.”
Researchers will also work on new diagnostic and prognostic tests, including cancer and immune biomarkers, to accurately predict how well a patient will respond to PARPi/immunotherapy treatments.
The new project builds on WEHI’s extensive expertise in bioinformatics and genomic data analysis, led by Principal Investigator Professor Tony Papenfuss.
The machine learning framework built for the project will also be relevant for other immunotherapy biomarker discovery projects, with the results to be used for the development of treatments for other types of cancer.