Modified tumour antigen-encoding mRNA facilitates the analysis of naturally occurring and vaccine-induced CD4 and CD8 T cells in cancer patients.
ABSTRACT The development of effective anti-cancer vaccines requires precise assessment of vaccine-induced immunity. This is often hampered by low ex vivo frequencies of antigen-specific T cells and limited defined epitopes. This study investigates the applicability of modified, in vitro-transcribed mRNA encoding a therapeutically relevant tumour antigen to analyse T cell responses in cancer patients. In this study transfection of antigen presenting cells, by mRNA encoding the tumour antigen NY-ESO-1, was optimised and applied to address spontaneous and vaccine-induced T cell responses in cancer patients. Memory CD8+ T cells from lung cancer patients having detectable humoral immune responses directed towards NY-ESO-1 could be efficiently detected in peripheral blood. Specific T cells utilised a range of different T cell receptors, indicating a polyclonal response. Specific killing of a panel of NY-ESO-1 expressing tumour cell lines indicates recognition restricted to several HLA allelic variants, including a novel HLA-B49 epitope. Using a modified mRNA construct targeting the translated antigen to the secretory pathway, detection of NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T cells in patients could be enhanced, which allowed the in-depth characterisation of established T cell clones. Moreover, broad CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses covering multiple epitopes were detected following mRNA stimulation of patients treated with a recombinant vaccinia/fowlpox NY-ESO-1 vaccine. This approach allows for a precise monitoring of responses to tumour antigens in a setting that addresses the breadth and magnitude of antigen-specific T cell responses, and that is not limited to a particular combination of known epitopes and HLA-restrictions.
SourceAvailable from: Jitka Fucíková[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are critical in regulating apoptosis resistance in cancer. Antagonists of IAPs, such as LCL161, are in clinical development and show promise as anti-cancer agents for solid and hematological cancers, with preliminary data suggesting they may act as immunomodulators. IAP antagonists hypersensitize tumor cells to TNF-α-mediated apoptosis, an effect that may work in synergy with that of cancer vaccines. This study aimed to further investigate the immunomodulatory properties of LCL161 on human immune subsets. T lymphocytes treated with LCL161 demonstrated significantly enhanced cytokine secretion upon activation, with little effect on CD4 and CD8 T-cell survival or proliferation. LCL161 treatment of peripheral blood mononuclear cells significantly enhanced priming of naïve T cells with synthetic peptides in vitro. Myeloid dendritic cells underwent phenotypic maturation upon IAP antagonism and demonstrated a reduced capacity to cross-present a tumor antigen-based vaccine. These effects are potentially mediated through an observed activation of the canonical and non-canonical NF-κB pathways, following IAP antagonism with a resulting upregulation of anti-apoptotic molecules. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the immunomodulatory properties of antagonists at physiologically relevant concentrations and indicates their combination with immunotherapy requires further investigation.Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 08/2012; DOI:10.1007/s00262-012-1342-1 · 3.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Combination therapy with BRAF and MEK inhibition is currently in clinical development for the treatment of BRAF-mutated malignant melanoma. BRAF inhibitors are associated with enhanced antigen-specific T-lymphocyte recognition in vivo. Consequently, BRAF inhibition has been proposed as proimmunogenic and there has been considerable enthusiasm for combining BRAF inhibition with immunotherapy. MEK inhibitors inhibit ERK phosphorylation regardless of BRAF mutational status and have been reported to impair T-lymphocyte and modulate dendritic cell function. In this study, we investigate the effects on isolated T lymphocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDC) of a MEK (trametinib) and BRAF (dabrafenib) inhibitor combination currently being evaluated in a randomized controlled clinical trial. The effects of dabrafenib and trametinib, alone and in combination, were studied on isolated normal T lymphocytes and moDCs. Lymphocyte viability, together with functional assays including proliferation, cytokine production, and antigen-specific expansion, were assessed. MoDC phenotype in response to lipopolysaccharide stimulation was evaluated by flow cytometry, as were effects on antigen cross-presentation. Dabrafenib did not have an impact on T lymphocytes or moDCs, whereas trametinib alone or in combination with dabrafenib suppressed T-lymphocyte proliferation, cytokine production, and antigen-specific expansion. However, no significant decrease in CD4(+) or CD8(+) T-lymphocyte viability was observed following kinase inhibition. MoDC cross-presentation was suppressed in association with enhanced maturation following combined inhibition of MEK and BRAF. The results of this study demonstrate that MEK inhibition, alone or in combination with BRAF inhibition, can modulate immune cell function, and further studies in vivo will be required to evaluate the potential clinical impact of these findings. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(4); 351-60. ©2014 AACR.04/2014; 2(4):351-60. DOI:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-13-0181
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although cancer immunology has made vigorous progress over the last decade, its future remains uncertain. Tumors have clearly proved subject to immune surveillance, leading to antigenic editing, and means of activating both T and B arms of the immune system have been devised. Therapeutic vaccination and monoclonal antibody therapy have so far proved disappointing, because tumors prove adept at evasion from immune control. Dual targeting could well counteract evasion, provided that the two targets are independent and are attacked simultaneously. This stage has nearly but not quite been reached in several forms of immunotherapy, particularly of B-cell cancers, although such treatment also carries hazards.Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 04/2011; 60(8):1127-35. DOI:10.1007/s00262-011-0985-7 · 3.64 Impact Factor