Vaccine and antigen mimotopes against cancerous diseases associated with the carcinoembryonic antigen CEA.


The invention relates to a vaccine against cancerous diseases associated with the Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). The technology comprises peptides mimicking CEA (mimotopes), which are suitable for vaccination of patients with CEA positive tumors such as colorectal carcinomas and cancers of the breast, lung, esophagus, pancreas or stomach. The mimotopes have been developed by researchers from the Medical University of Vienna.


The Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein overexpressed by different tumors, typically by colorectal carcinoma. Additionally, elevated serum levels of CEA are found in more than 50% of all breast cancers, 70% of all small cell lung carcinomas, esophagus, pancreas and gastric carcinomas. Among all cancers, colorectal carcinoma is the second largest cause of deaths due to malignancies in the USA and other industrialized countries. As the CEA is specifically and highly expressed by several malignancies, it represents an interesting target for antitumor immunotherapy.


Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna have focused on developing an immunotherapy against tumors associated with the CEA. They succeeded in generating peptides mimicking the CEA by selecting mimotopes from phage display libraries using anti-CEA antibodies. In a proof-of-concept experiment, immunization with a CEA mimotope candidate induced antibodies in vivo (BALB/c mice)  to react with natural CEA. Thus, by active immunization with a mimic, tolerance against the self-antigen CEA can be broken rather than with identical structures. Moreover, in contrast to the treatment of tumors with passively applied antibodies, vaccinations allow the active induction of continuously available antibodies in the patient. With regard to the obtained results, the CEA mimotopes are promising candidates for the development of vaccine therapies against several types of cancers.



  • Inducing long lasting antibody response
  • Breaking the tolerance of CEA as a self antigen
  • Generating high immunogenic response of the peptides
  • Producing stable products with lower cost synthesis