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PRESS RELEASE

A PERSONALIZED VACCINE FOR HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA PATIENTS

Last 14th and 15th November, in Naples, at the National Cancer Institute IRCCS “Pascale”, there took place the kick-off meeting of the collaborative project HEPAVAC (Cancer vaccine development for hepatocellular carcinoma), funded by the European Commission with about 6 millions, within the Seventh Framework Program (FP7).

The project, coordinated by Luigi Buonaguro, professor at the National Cancer Institute “Pascale”, gathers nine European partners, including universities and enterprises. The goal of the project - that will last five years starting from Sept 1st 2013 - is to develop a therapeutic vaccine for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who have undergone ablative and/or loco-regional therapy.

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Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most frequent liver cancer and one of the most widespread in the world, with a 6% incidence, resulting in approx. 750,000 new cases per year. The vaccine will be based on a cocktail of tumor epitopes, specific for hepatocellular carcinoma, including those that are common in all patients as well as the personalized ones. The aim of this approach is to realize a personalized therapy suiting the pathological situation of individual patients.

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HEPAVAC Project: a personalized approach to cure liver cancer The HEPAVAC project aims at developing a protocol for the production of personalized vaccines for patients affected by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a primary form of liver cancer having a high death rate. The 9 international partners are: Coordinator ISTITUTO NAZIONALE TUMORI "PASCALE" Italy Partners EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN Germany UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DELL'INSUBRIA Italy ISTITUTE NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE France IMMATICS BIOTECHNOLOGIES GMBH Germany CUREVAC Germany THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM Great Britain UNIVERSIDAD DE NAVARRA Spain UNIVERSITAIR ZIEKENHUIS ANTWERPEN Belgium

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For direct contacts: Prof. Luigi Buonaguro E-mail l.buonaguro@istitutotumori.na.it Tel. +39 081 5903 273 Mob. +39 338 5768335 For further information: HEPAVAC web page: www.hepavac.eu, HEPAVAC in English: http://www.horizonhealth.eu/article/vaccines-third-kind/255#w3s-allow-cookies=true, http://www.horizonhealth.eu/project/cancer-vaccine-development-hepatocellularcarcinoma/240#w3s-allow-cookies=true HEPAVAC in Italian: http://ricercaemedicina.sissa.it/ita/progetti/hepavac.aspx, http://ricercaemedicina.sissa.it/ita/news/hepavac.aspx Photo Credits: Luigi Buonaguro, HEPAVAC coordinator, and professor at Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori IRCCS “Pascale�, Naples, Italy

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Press release HEPAVAC