In our in vivo studies, we tested these oligopeptides for efficacy and safety in mice challenged with melanoma B16FO cells. All immunized animals injected with melanoma cancer cells grew smaller tumors than the control mice. The weight of tumors developed in the immunized animals was only about 30% of the controls, signifying a dramatic inhibition of tumor growth. The reduction in tumor volume varied between the peptide vaccines, but on average was even more pronounced. The highest reduction of tumor volume compared to control was 88% achieved with a vaccine derived from the human MMP-2 oligopeptide, followed by a reduction of 80% with one of the human MMP-9 oligopeptides. The weight gain of vaccinated and control animals was comparable throughout the study and no pathological side-effects were observed in the vaccinated animals.
If confirmed by further in vivo and later clinical studies, a vaccine for the prevention and treatment of all types of cancers – irrespective of their origin and type – may become available. Moreover, the limited economic burden of such a vaccine approach would allow its world-wide implementation towards the global control of cancer.