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Development and evaluation of glycoconjugates with applications in human and veterinary oncology

Grant number: 18/14759-2
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: June 01, 2019 - February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy
Principal Investigator:Vanessa Leiria Campo
Grantee:Vanessa Leiria Campo
Host Company:V L Campo
CNAE: Atividades de serviços de complementação diagnóstica e terapêutica
Atividades de atenção à saúde humana não especificadas anteriormente
City: Ribeirão Preto
Associated researchers:Marcelo Dias Baruffi ; Marcelo Fiori Marchiori
Associated grant(s):20/00545-0 - Development and evaluation of glycoconjugates with applications in human and veterinary oncology, AP.PIPE


Among the main diseases affecting humans and animals is cancer, with 16 million new cases in humans, annually, and around 225 thousand deaths per year in Brazil, besides being a major cause of death in pets. Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women, excluding skin cases; only in Brazil, the Ministry of Health estimates more than 50,000 new cases per year. Despite being rare, it can also occur in men. In relation to pets, breast cancer in females is already the main cause of death in dogs in developed countries, with a similar projection for Brazil. Conventional therapies against cancer are based on "Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation", which are, however, not effective in all cases, as well as leading to undesirable side effects, mainly due to a lack of selectivity to healthy cells. In addition, there are high rates of tumor recurrence associated with the described conventional therapies, with the possibility of recurrence of the disease in more severe forms, implying to the development of new cancer cells resistant to previous therapy and with metastatic potential. Thus, the use of vaccines (immunotherapy), based on stimulation of the immune system to combat tumor cells, represents an innovative, safe and effective strategy against cancer in humans and pets, with lower probability of side effects and tumor recurrence if compared to conventional therapies. The major commercially available antitumor vaccines are Provenge®, against advanced prostate cancer in humans, and Oncept® for the treatment of melanomas in dogs; however, there is no commercial vaccine against breast cancer in humans and dogs. In this context, the development of antitumor vaccines from synthetic glycoconjugates analogous to tumor cell antigens, as presented in this proposal, represents a frontline in the therapy against breast tumors in humans and dogs. Among the tumor antigens of major clinical relevance for breast cancer is MUC1 mucin, which is a glycoprotein co-expressed in human and canine breast tumor cells, being considered a target for the development of vaccines. Thus, the objective of this proposal is the development and evaluation of synthetic glycopeptides, analogues of MUC1, aiming to obtain vaccines against human and canine breast cancer. In view of the expanding global market for anticancer vaccines for human use (US $ 4 million in 2016), as well as the market for cancer therapeutics in pets (US $ 140 million in 2016), it is believed that a MUC1-based synthetic vaccine may represent a safer and more effective therapeutic option for the treatment of breast cancer, and should be widely applied in markets directed to human and veterinary health, involving both public research and health agencies as well as private companies. (AU)

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