the vaccine

During the GAPVAC clinical trial, patients receive two personalized vaccines: APVAC1 and APVAC2

APVAC1 vaccine contains 5 to 10 so-called peptides (short fragments of proteins) that are found on the patient’s tumor and are supposed to activate the immune system after vaccination to attack the tumor. Antigens for APVAC1 vaccines have already been manufactured prior to the start of the study and can be chosen from a pool or “warehouse” of peptides where they are stored. However, the mixture of peptides in APVAC1 vaccine is produced as unique vaccine for each patient based on the profiling of his/her tumor and immune system.

For APVAC2 vaccines, the entirety of genes (called genome) of the tumor are compared with the “healthy” genome of the patient as found in blood cells in order to identify genetic changes specific to the tumor, so called mutations. Peptides used for APVAC2 vaccines activate the immune system against selected tumor mutations that are believed to be powerful targets for vaccinating against the tumor. Because every peptide of the APVAC2 vaccine has to be manufactured specifically for each individual patient, the APVAC2 vaccinations start with some delay (3 months) after the vaccinations with APVAC1 vaccines.