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Cancer vaccines self-sabotage, channel immune attack to injection site
Date:3/3/2013

cells in the mouse model to see where they went.

  • Mice without IFA had the bulk of T cells light up in their tumors with minimal presence at the vaccination site.
  • T cells built up at the injection site in mice that received IFA-based vaccine, with a tiny showing in the tumor.

Response duration was tested in gp100/IFA and control IFA vaccines. The antigen/IFA combination gathered and persisted at the vaccination site, where it could still stimulate the proliferation of injected T cells 96 days after vaccination.

A separate set of experiments showed the antigen/IFA-driven T cells were forced to kill themselves at the vaccination site by a variety of cell suicide-inducing proteins.

Reducing vaccine depots at injection site

Overwijk and colleagues inferred that a possible answer to the problem was to reduce the size and persistence of vaccine "depots" at the injection site.

They tested a vaccine based on a saline solution instead of IFA and found that antigens cleared more quickly but did not spark the desired T cell response. A combination of three stimulatory molecules (covax) was added to the saline/peptide vaccine, producing a strong T cell response. IFA/peptide vaccine produced a strong T cell response but also stronger post-peak T cell suicide.

A comparison of saline/peptide/covax vs. IFA/peptide/covax showed the saline version caused T cells to home to the tumor and destroy them, while the IFA version focused T cells at the vaccination site, killing normal tissue and inducing chemokines that damaged and killed T cells.

"IFA-based vaccination sites essentially outcompete tumor sites for T cell recognition and accumulation, chemokine production and tissue damage," Overwijk said. "It's an engineering flaw in those vaccines that we didn't appreciate until now. Fortunately, our results also directly instruct us how to design new, more powerful vaccine formulas for tr
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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