Whole-Cancer Cell Vaccine Development for Pancreatic Cancer

Whole-Cancer Cell Vaccine Development for Pancreatic Cancer

Whole-Cancer Cell Vaccine Development for Pancreatic Cancer

Whole cancer cell-based vaccines are one of the earliest cancer vaccines. This type of cancer vaccine typically uses irradiated and modified cancer cells as immunogens that express the full repertoire of tumor-associated antigens and may trigger a robust immune response and an enhanced anti-tumor response. Alfa Cytology is a full-scale contract research organization (CRO) with extensive experience. With our extensive experience in pancreatic cancer (PC) research and advanced vaccine development platform, we are capable of providing whole-cancer cell vaccine development services for PC.

Whole-cancer cell vaccines and PC

The potential strength of cancer cell vaccines is that any tumor-specific mutated antigens would be presented to the immune system and as such may result in an expanded T-cell repertoire. Whole-cancer cell vaccines use inactivated tumor cells derived from a patient's tumor or from another patient's tumor and can therefore be divided into two main categories, namely autologous and allogeneic vaccines. Allogeneic whole-cell vaccines appear to offer a more practical approach and have been investigated in PC patients. For example, GVAX is an irradiated and modified whole-cell tumor vaccine that can release granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). It has been shown to induce T-cell infiltration and formation of tertiary lymphoid aggregates in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients.

Fig. 1 Model of GVAX vaccination-induced tumor destruction. (Soiffer, Robert J. et al., 2021)Fig. 1 Model of GVAX vaccination-induced tumor destruction. (Soiffer, Robert J. et al., 2021)

The service offering at Alfa Cytology

In general, the development of whole-cancer cell vaccines involves lysing the cells, radiating the cells, or adding adjuvants. Progress in vaccine development relies on basic research.

  • Cancer cell vaccine design and preparation

Our vaccine development platform consists of dozens of scientists dedicated to translating fundamental knowledge about the PC immune system and its regulation in PC into the design of more effective vaccines and vaccine regimens. We can design and prepare cancer cell vaccines with different vectors as well as vector targets including autologous tumor cells and allogeneic tumor cells, and cell lines.

  • Cancer cell vaccine modification

After killing tumor cells by freeze-thawing and irradiation, because these unmodified tumor cells do not generate a robust immune response, subsequent work has focused on enhancing the immunogenicity of tumor cell vaccines by genetic modification. We offer many different strategies to genetically modify tumor cells to make them more immunogenic, including the introduction of cytokine molecules, xeno- or immunogenic antigens, viral tumor lysis products, and/or co-stimulatory molecules.

  • Cancer cell vaccine evaluation

The anti-tumor efficacy and safety of the cancer cell vaccine will be tested in preclinical models prior to translation to human clinical trials. We offer a range of PDAC models for preclinical vaccine evaluation, including PC cell model, syngeneic xenograft as well as transgenic and humanized mice. We are now offering the following whole-cancer cell vaccine evaluation services, but are not limited to:

-Viability study of cancer cell vaccines

-Anti-tumor efficacy test of cancer cell vaccines

-Toxicity evaluation of cancer cell vaccines

We are committed to helping our customers to design and develop more effective PC vaccines. For more about our whole-cancer cell vaccine development services for PC, please contact us.


  1. Soiffer, Robert J., Kameron A. Kooshesh, and Vincent Ho. "Whole tumor cell vaccines engineered to secrete GM-CSF (GVAX)." ImmunoMedicine 1.1 (2021): e1025.
  2. Kajihara, Mikio, et al. "Advances in inducing adaptive immunity using cell-based cancer vaccines: Clinical applications in pancreatic cancer." World Journal of Gastroenterology 22.18 (2016): 4446.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.