Oncoquest-L is an investigational personalized cancer vaccine being developed by Xeme Biopharma for the treatment of follicular lymphoma.

How Oncoquest-L works

Oncoquest-L is prepared by harvesting the patient’s own tumor cells and combining them with a high dose of interleukin-2,  a cell-signaling molecule that activates B- and T-cells responsible for the immune response.

It is hoped that when injected under the skin, the vaccine will enable the patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy the cancer cells and provide continuous protection against tumor relapse and metastasis.

Other unsuccessful cancer vaccines usually targeted a single cancer protein shared among patients, Oncoquest-L contains multiple mutated proteins called neoantigens that are specific to each patient’s tumor.

Researchers believe that by administering patients’ own tumor neoantigens back to them, which appear foreign to their immune system, it should aid in the activation of their immune cells to destroy the tumor cells naturally.

Oncoquest-L in clinical trials

pilot study evaluated the safety, feasibility, and immunogenicity of Oncoquest-L in patients with stage 3 and 4 follicular lymphoma and showed that the vaccine was well-tolerated and proved to be safe.

Xeme is planning to a start a Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT02194751) in 2018 to study the overall tumor response of the vaccine in patients with previously untreated stage 3 or 4, asymptomatic, non-bulky follicular lymphoma.

The trial is expected to last for two years and will assess the safety of the vaccine, the time from vaccine treatment until the patient requires another type of anti-lymphoma treatment, progression-free survival, and the anti-tumor immune response.

Additional information

Oncoquest-L is administered under the skin, which is much more convenient than an intravenous infusion.

Although this vaccine formulation requires the generation of a custom-made product for each patient, it can be produced within a single day, compared to the two to six months required to manufacture other cancer vaccines.


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