Induction of Wilms' tumor protein (WT1)-specific antitumor immunity using a truncated WT1-expressing adenovirus vaccine.
PURPOSE: Wilms' tumor protein (WT1) is overexpressed in most leukemias and many solid tumors and is a promising target for tumor immunotherapy. WT1 peptide-based cancer vaccines have been reported but have limited application due to HLA restriction of the peptides. We sought to vaccinate using adenoviral (Ad) vectors encoding tumor-associated antigens such as WT1 that can stimulate tumor-associated antigen-specific immunity across a broad array of HLA types and multiple class I and class II epitopes. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We developed a novel Ad vector encoding a truncated version of WT1 (Ad-tWT1) lacking the highly conserved COOH terminus zinc finger domains and tested its ability to stimulate WT1-specific immune responses and antitumor immunity in two murine models of WT1-expressing tumors. RESULTS: Despite encoding a transcription factor, we found that Ad-tWT1-transduced murine and human dendritic cells showed cytoplasmic expression of the truncated WT1 protein. In addition, vaccination of C57BL/6 mice with Ad-tWT1 generated WT1-specific cell-mediated and humoral immune responses and conferred protection against challenge with the leukemia cell line, mWT1-C1498. Moreover, in a tumor therapy model, Ad-tWT1 vaccination of TRAMP-C2 tumor-bearing mice significantly suppressed tumor growth. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of a WT1-encoding Ad vector that is capable of inducing effective immunity against WT1-expressing malignancies. Based on these findings, Ad-tWT1 warrants investigation in human clinical trials to evaluate its applications as a vaccine for patients with WT1-expressing cancers.
Osada, T; Woo, CY; McKinney, M; Yang, XY; Lei, G; Labreche, HG; Hartman, ZC; Niedzwiecki, D; Chao, N; Amalfitano, A; Morse, MA; Lyerly, HK; Clay, TM
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