Cancer vaccine development

| Research interest | Research group projects | Selected publications | Funding


Associate Professor
Ludwig adjunct scientist
Laboratory L. Kandalaft

Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne

Director of Center of experimental therapeutics

Phone +41 21 314 78 23
Fax +41 21 314 10 33

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Research interest

Our work is focussed on the clinical development of personalized cancer vaccines. The aim is to improve whole tumor lysate vaccination approaches and other personalized cancer vaccine approaches by improving the dendritic cell platform and by choosing the most immunogenic antigen with the most practical preparation to be translated rapidly to the clinic. The other focus of the lab is to find the best setting to integrate vaccines in the standard of care treatment plan for ovarian cancer patients and to understand the immune fitness of cancer patients and correlate it with vaccination.

Research group projects

  • Improving whole tumor lysate vaccination approaches by enhancing the functionality of DC vaccines through genetic engineering and through comparing the different cross presentation capacity of different types of DCs.
  • Identifying the most effective and feasible personalized antigen for vaccination by understanding the immunogenic effect of oxidation through proteomics and immunopeptidomics in collaboration with Dr. Michal Bassani. Previous work showed that HOCl treatment of tumor cells (prior to lysis) greatly increases their immunogenicity. This work aims to identify what are the molecular and signaling mechanisms driving this improved immunogenicity.


  • Polymer nanomaterials for antitumor immunotherapy in collaboration with Prof. Harm-Anton Klok (EPFL). This study focuses on the development of nanoparticles for the delivery of autologous oxidized tumor lysate to mount a cancer-specific immune response.


  • Improving vaccination strategies by integrating vaccines with the standard of care therapy in an ovarian cancer mouse model. 

  • Understanding immune fitness of cancer patients and correlating it with vaccination.

Selected publications

  • Kandalaft L.E., Powell D. Tanyi J., Chiang, C., Torigian D., Bosch M, Levine B, June C.H., Coukos, G. Autologous Lysate-Pulsed Dendritic Cell Vaccination Followed by Adoptive Transfer of Vaccine-Primed Ex Vivo Costimulated T-cells in Recurrent Ovarian CancerOncoimmunology, Jan 1;2(1):e22664.2013
  • Kandalaft L.E., Tanyi J., Coukos G. Phase I Clinical Trial of Autologous OCDC Vaccine in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer. A J Transl Med. 2013 Jun 18;11(1):149
  • Kandalaft L.E., Chiang, C., Tanyi J., Hagemann AR, Motz G, Sovorons N, Smith L, Montone K, Mantia-Smaldone G, Nisenbaum H, Torigian D., Czerniecki B, Powell D., Coukos G. A Dendritic Cell Vaccine Pulsed with Autologous HOCl-oxidized Ovarian Cancer Lysate Primes Effective Broad Antitumor Immunity: From Bench to Bedside. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 15.
  • Kandalaft L.E., Balint, K., Berek J. and Coukos G. What is the Future of Immunotherapy in Ovarian Cancer? Controversies in Gynecologic Cancers, 2014


  • ISREC Foundation


Group members

  • Ritaparna AHMED
    PhD Student
  • Lai Lai CHIANG
    Research associate
  • Michele GRACIOTTI
    Research associate
  • Hajer GUIREN
    PhD Student
  • Anne-Laure HUGUENIN
  • Chakradhar YAKKALA
    Postdoctoral Researcher
Ch. des Boveresses 155 - CH-1066 Epalinges
Tel. +41 21 692 59 92
Fax +41 21 692 59 95
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