A new study testing a dendritic cell vaccine for the first time in humans to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has shown that it successfully amplifies the immune system to boost the effectiveness of anti-PD-1 immunotherapies against the cancer. The findings were published in Clinical Cancer Research.

The phase I clinical trial involved administering the vaccine directly into NSCLC tumors in 16 patients in two doses approximately seven days apart. At day 56, 25% of patients had stable disease. In 54% of patients, infiltration of CD8 cells in tumors was activated, and researchers saw a significant increase in PD-L1 expression in patients following vaccination. Side effects were manageable and limited mostly to flu-like symptoms, nausea, and fatigue.

The researchers said that the findings will help to better identify people who can benefit from this treatment and lead to new and improved treatments for NSCLC and other cancers. Future studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine when used with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy and other potential treatments.

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