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Abstract 2420: Modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) expressing survivin combined with gemcitabine generates specific antitumor effects in a murine pancreatic carcinoma model

Division of General and Oncologic Surgery, City of Hope National Medical Center, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010-3000, USA.
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy (Impact Factor: 3.94). 10/2010; 60(1):99-109. DOI: 10.1007/s00262-010-0923-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Survivin is overexpressed by 70-80% of pancreatic cancers, and is associated with resistance to chemotherapy and a poor prognosis. Gemcitabine has been a standard treatment for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer for a decade. Recent reports have demonstrated that gemcitabine treatment attenuates the tumor-suppressive environment by eliminating CD11b(+)/Gr-1(+) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). We hypothesize that a cancer vaccine targeting survivin can achieve enhanced efficacy when combined with gemcitabine. In this study, we tested this hypothesis using modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) expressing full-length murine survivin. The poorly immunogenic mouse pancreas adenocarcinoma cell line, Pan02, which expresses murine survivin and is syngeneic to C57BL/6, was used for this study. Immunization with MVA-survivin resulted in a modest therapeutic antitumor effect on established Pan02 tumors. When administered with gemcitabine, MVA-survivin immunization resulted in significant tumor regression and prolonged survival. The enhanced vaccine efficacy was associated with decreased CD11b(+)/Gr-1(+) MDSCs. To analyze the survivin-specific immune response to MVA-survivin immunization, we utilized a peptide library of 15mers with 11 residues overlapping from full-length murine survivin. Splenocytes from mice immunized with MVA-survivin produced intracellular γ-interferon in response to in vitro stimulation with the overlapping peptide library. Increased survivin-specific CD8(+) T cells that specifically recognized the Pan02 tumor line were seen in mice treated with MVA-survivin and gemcitabine. These data suggest that vaccination with MVA-survivin in combination with gemcitabine represents an attractive strategy to overcome tumor-induced peripheral immune tolerance, and this effect has potential for clinical benefit in pancreatic cancer.

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