Vaccine-pulsed Dendritic Cells as a Treatment for Aggressive Breast Cancers


Immunotherapy for HER2+ and triple-negative breast cancer.

Key Benefits

  • Autologous vaccine comprising patient-specific tumor antigens and immune stimulatory components against aggressive breast cancers.
  • Prepared outside of the body and then administered to patients.
  • Preclinical data indicate treatment decreases tumor growth and improves survival in mice.

Market Summary

Breast cancer is the most common type of malignancy diagnosed in women, with over 260,000 new cases each year in the United States. Although treatment has significantly improved, some breast cancer patients have poor prognoses and do not respond to standard medicines. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of these subsets affecting about 15 percent of breast cancer patients and is classified by cancerous cells lacking estrogen, progesterone, and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) gene. Breast cancers such as TNBC are not responsive to standard of care, hormone therapy, or HER2 inhibitors and have lower survival than other forms of breast cancer. In addition, they are challenging to diagnose and usually present at an untreatable stage of diseases. Hence, there is an unmet need to develop novel drugs to treat the disease more effectively.

Technical Summary

Emory researchers have developed a novel approach for treating aggressive breast cancers using dendritic cells (DCs) to stimulate an immune response against cancerous cells. Dendritic cells are a diverse group of specialized antigen-presenting cells with critical roles in initiating and regulating innate and adaptive immune responses. The method involves incorporating tumor membrane vesicles containing immune-stimulatory molecules (TMV-ISM) and tumor antigens into DCs outside the body and administering them to patients. A treatment prototype has been developed and administered to mice in a model of aggressive breast cancer. Resultant data indicate the treatment significantly decreases tumor growth and increases survival compared to placebo controls.

Developmental Stage

Preclinical stage of development.


Munoz, L. E., Monterroza, L., Bommireddy, R., Shafizadeh, Y., Pack, C. D., Ramachandiran, S., Reddy, S. J. C., & Selvaraj, P. (2023). Dendritic cells pulsed with cytokine-adjuvanted tumor membrane vesicles inhibit tumor growth in HER2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer models. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 4;22(16):8377. DOI: 10.3390/ijms22168377. PMID: 34445092

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 17/876,413   7/28/2022   Pending
Tech ID: 21165
Published: 6/6/2023