Anticancer Peptides

HER1 Receptor Targeted for Peptide Cancer Vaccine, Therapeutic Agents

Pravin KaumayaOSUCCC – James researchers led a study focused on the HER1/EGFR receptor as a target for peptide vaccine and therapeutic agents.

HER1 is a member of the epithelial growth factor (EGF) family of cell-surface receptors. The family, which includes the HER2 receptor, plays a central role in the development of a variety of human cancers. It is important for cancer-cell growth and metastasis and an indicator of poor patient survival.

The study, led by Pravin Kaumaya, PhD, director of the Division of Vaccine Development at the OSUCCC – James, identified two regions on the HER1 receptor as potential targets for cancer vaccine or therapeutic peptides. The two regions, defined as sequences 382–410 and 418–435, were the most specific and raised the strongest immune response in test animals.

“The findings could lead to novel peptide vaccines and mimetic inhibitors that target HER1 in tumors of the breast, lung, colon, and head and neck,” says Kaumaya, who is also professor of Medicine of Obstetrics and Gynecology, of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and of Microbiology at Ohio State.

They might also overcome many of the significant shortcomings of antibody-based drugs such as cetuximab, he notes. These peptide agents, which are small proteins consisting of 10 to 50 amino acids, might be safer, more effective and less costly than the monoclonalantibody-based drugs and small-molecule inhibitors now used to treat many malignancies, Kaumaya says.

“Peptide agents might enable the development of combination immunotherapies that avoid the mechanisms of resistance or secondary treatment failures sometimes experienced with antibody treatment,” Kaumaya says.

Published in the Journal of Immunology.

NIH/National Cancer Institute grant CA084356 supported this research.

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