GUCY2C-targeted cancer immunotherapy: past, present and future

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For the last decade, we have focused on guanylyl cyclase C (GUCY2C) as a potentially ideal target antigen for colorectal cancer immunotherapy. GUCY2C is expressed only in intestinal epithelial cells and by nearly 100% of colorectal cancers. We have developed and tested a recombinant adenoviral vector possessing GUCY2C (Ad5-GUCY2C) as a candidate vaccine for colorectal cancer patients. Murine studies have revealed that this vaccine is safe and effective against GUCY2C-expressing targets, and Ad5-GUCY2C is poised for phase I clinical testing in colorectal cancer patients with minimal residual disease. Moreover, we are developing second-generation GUCY2C-targeted therapeutics, including the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-expressing T cells, for treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer for whom Ad5-GUCY2C immunization is not appropriate. Thus, a family of GUCY2C-targeted immunotherapeutics may bridge the gap in effective treatments for the 500,000 patients worldwide who die annually from colorectal cancer.

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