Chennai: A cancer vaccine approach can help in treating Lynch Syndrome, says a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study conducted by MedGenomeexamines the feasibility of treating Lynch syndrome using a personalized cancer vaccine approach by identifying potential immunogenic tumor specific alterations.
Lynch Syndrome (LS), also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is caused by mutations in genes involved in the repair of DNA replication errors.
The syndrome increases the life-time risk of developing cancers of other organs, such as cancers of the colon, stomach, small intestines, liver, kidney, uterus, brain, pelvis and prostate among others.
LS is the most common hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome accounting for 2-5 per cent of all colorectal cancers. In India, while the overall incidence of colorectal cancer is comparatively lower -4.4 per lakh men and 3.9 per lakh women, but a large percentage of patients develop it before the age of 45 with a higher proportion.
Dr Rakshit Shah, surgical oncologist, Kailash Cancer Hospital & Research Centre stated, “The screening for genetic mutation in colorectal cancer patients especially those with familial history could help in identifying those that are vulnerable to the disease.
Such genetic based screening could be an efficient way of preventing colorectal cancer. Families with history for colorectal cancer like lynch syndrome should be advised to undergo genetic screening and if they carry mutations like MLH1 they are likely to develop colorectal cancer before the age of 50. The study is unique as genetic screening in familial colorectal cancer has not been widely reported in our country.”
The MedGenome study reports many potential immunogenic peptides from a Lynch syndrome-affected individual who has progressed to develop colon cancer. It is possible that the development of cancer in the affected individual was contributed by the lack of anti-tumor immune response. Taken together, this study provides a basis for considering the use of cancer vaccines to treat or delay the onset/relapse of LS-CRC.
“Given that Lynch syndrome has limited treatment options, this study provides a basis for considering a cancer vaccine approach that could be used either as monotherapy or in combination with established immuno-oncology or chemotherapy drugs”, added Dr. Amit Chaudhuri, senior author of the study.