Combined immunization with adjuvant molecules poly(I:C) and anti-CD40 plus a tumor antigen has potent prophylactic and therapeutic antitumor effects

Diana Llopiz, Javier Dotor, Aintzane Zabaleta, Juan J Lasarte, Jesús Prieto, Francisco Borrás-Cuesta, Pablo Sarobe
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: CII 2008, 57 (1): 19-29
The low immunogenicity of malignant cells is one of the causes responsible for the lack of antitumor immune responses. Thus, development of new therapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing presentation of tumor antigens to T cells is a main goal of cancer immunotherapy. With this aim, we studied the efficacy of administering adjuvants poly(I:C) and agonistic anti-CD40 antibody plus a tumor antigen. Joint intravenous immunization with these adjuvants and a model tumor antigen (ovalbumin) was able to synergistically induce potent and long lasting antitumor T-cell responses. These responses protected against challenge with E.G7-OVA tumor cells in prophylactic short- and long-term vaccination. In a therapeutic setting, repeated intratumor administration of adjuvants plus antigen was able to reject established tumors in all treated animals, leading in some cases to the rejection of both locally treated and untreated tumors. Antitumor immune responses induced by these protocols were mediated not only by T-cells but also by NK cells. In conclusion, combined administration of adjuvants poly(I:C) and anti-CD40 plus a tumor antigen is an efficient strategy for prophylactic and therapeutic antitumor vaccination.

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