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Sanford researcher leads published study on HPV vaccine

Dr. John Lee’s work in October issue of Cancer Gene Therapy

(Sioux Falls, SD) - A study conducted by Sanford Health’s John Lee, MD, and Etubics Corporation that uses a vaccine to suppress human papilloma virus (HPV) has been published by Cancer Gene Therapy.

 The study, "A non-oncogenic HPV 16 E6/E7 vaccine enhances treatment of HPV expressing tumors," appears in the October issue of the peer-reviewed publication.

 HPV is the leading cause of more than 90 percent of cervical cancers and 25 percent of head and neck cancers. Currently, no HPV therapeutic vaccine is effective at treating established tumors, despite its success with preventing HPV infection.

John Lee 150X150Dr. Lee and his team used an Etubics drug (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation to successfully improve long-term survival of animals expressing HPV. Etubics’ drug induces immune response in circumstances where it is suppressed due to pre-existing conditions.

  “This article provides a pre-clinical rationale to initiate testing of a therapeutic vaccine in humans,” said Dr. Lee. “The approaches enhance HPV specific immune clearance in conjunction with standard of care chemo-radiation, with the potential for improving the survival advantage for patients by 30 percent.”

 Etubics is a clinical stage bio-pharmaceutical company with a proprietary platform vaccine technology that delivers a long lasting "active" immune response against diseases.

 "At Etubics, we strive to utilize our Etubics Platform to create immunotherapies that target difficult-to-treat cancers,” said Dr. Frank Jones, founder, chairman and CEO at Etubics. “We are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking research on an HPV immunotherapy at Sanford Research and help to come one step closer to a meaningful therapy for HPV induced cancers."

 Cancer Gene Therapy 150X200Cancer Gene Therapy publishes the results of laboratory investigations, preclinical studies, and clinical trials in the field of gene transfer/gene therapy and cellular therapies as applied to cancer research.

 About Sanford Research/USD

Sanford Research/USD is a non-profit research organization formed between Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, eight states and three countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, specifically finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, and has given Sanford Research significant momentum in its goal of becoming one of the premiere research institutions in the United States and the world. Most recently, a subsequent gift of $100 million by Mr. Sanford has paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research.

 With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Cancer, Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Health, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention, and the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance (NIAHP).

Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 /
Follow me on Twitter @SanfordTimG