[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determined the number and functional status of CD4+ CD25(high) regulatory T cells (Treg) in blood samples from patients with metastatic carcinoma, and evaluated their sensitivity to a single intravenous infusion of cyclophosphamide. Treg numbers were significantly higher in 49 patients with metastatic cancer (9.2% of CD4+ T cells) compared to 24 healthy donors (7.1%). These cells expressed the transcription factor forkhead box P3 (FoxP3), glucocorticoid-induced tumour necrosis factor receptor family-related protein (GITR) and intracellular CD152, and demonstrated a suppressive activity in vitro against CD4+ CD25- autologous proliferation. At a single intravenous infusion, cyclophosphamide failed, in association with a non-specific immunotherapy by intratumoral bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), to modulate significantly Treg numbers or function. Metastatic cancer is associated with an expansion of peripheral blood CD4+ CD25(high) FoxP3+ GITR+ CD152+ Treg cells whose immunosuppressive properties do not differ from those of healthy subjects. Moreover, cyclophosphamide administration may not represent an optimal therapy to eliminate Treg, which further underlines the need to identify specific agents that would selectively deplete these cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are currently no vector systems available that are efficient enough or targeted enough to transduce all of the tumor
cells in a patient with even a single copy of a therapeutic gene (1–4). Ideally, therefore, the genes used for gene transfer therapy of cancer should be able to achieve two major goals. The first
is to kill tumor cells locally with high efficiency. The second is to stimulate potent antitumor immunity such that distant
metastases, to which genes cannot be delivered, can also be eradicated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists represent a milestone in the therapy of autoimmune conditions. Anti-TNF antibodies have been approved for clinical use and during the last eight years thousands of patients have been treated. However, the long-term sequelae of anti-TNF agents in promoting carcinogenesis remain unclear. This study sought to define the role of intra-tumor TNF-alpha production on cancer cell progression and to determine whether TNF-alpha antibodies can suppress anti-tumoral immunity. Using an experimental animal tumor model we demonstrate that anti-TNF-alpha antibodies hinder anti-tumor immune responses and promote growth of immunogenic rat colon tumors (REG) that are always rejected by immunocompetent untreated rats. The major role of TNF-alpha in the anti-tumoral immune response was confirmed by transfecting progressive and tolerogenic rat colon tumor cells (PRO) with the TNF-alpha gene. PRO tumor cells secreting TNF-alpha induce tumor-infiltrating dendritic cell (DC) activation. This triggers a potent immune response leading to tumor rejection and long-lasting immunity. Therefore, the prominent role of TNF-alpha in anti-tumoral immune responses underscores the need for caution and close surveillance following the administration of TNF inhibitors.
Experimental Cell Research 08/2007; 313(11):2345-55. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are well known for their capacity to induce adaptive antitumor immune response through Ag presentation and tumor-specific T cell activation. Recent findings reveal that besides this role, DCs may display additional antitumor effects. In this study, we provide evidence that LPS- or IFN-gamma-activated rat bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) display killing properties against tumor cells. These cytotoxic BMDCs exhibit a mature DC phenotype, produce high amounts of IL-12, IL-6, and TNF-alpha, and retain their phagocytic properties. BMDC-mediated tumor cell killing requires cell-cell contact and depends on NO production, but not on perforin/granzyme or on death receptors. Furthermore, dead tumor cells do not exhibit characteristics of apoptosis. Thus, intratumoral LPS injections induce an increase of inducible NO synthase expression in tumor-infiltrating DCs associated with a significant arrest of tumor growth. Altogether, these results suggest that LPS-activated BMDCs represent powerful tumoricidal cells which enforce their potential as anticancer cellular vaccines.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2007; 179(2):812-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of the most efficient strategy for tumor antigen loading of dendritic cells (DCs) remains a challenge in cancer immunotherapy protocols. Autologous dead tumor cells have been demonstrated to constitute an acceptable source of multiple tumor-associated antigens (TAA) to pulse DCs. However the optimal approach for inducing cell death that would lead to effective endocytosis and activation of DCs remains controversial. In this study we have induced and defined 3 distinct mechanisms of tumor cell death (apoptosis, necrosis and fusion-mediated cell death), and investigated their differential effects on DCs. Bone marrow-derived DCs demonstrated comparable uptake of primary apoptotic, necrotic, or fused dead tumor cells. Furthermore, the distinct modes of cancer cell death had analogous potential in activating the transcription factors NF-kappaB and STAT1 and in maturing DCs, resulting in an equally effective stimulation of immune T cells. The current study therefore provides further informations on the use of dead whole tumor cells as antigen sources for effective active anti-cancer immunotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fusogenic membrane glycoproteins (FMG), such as the vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein (VSV-G), represent a new class of gene therapy for cancer that cause cytotoxic fusion on expression in tumor cells. In addition, FMG-mediated tumor cell death stimulates antitumor immunity, suggesting potential applications for FMG-expressing cellular vaccines. This study addresses the promise of FMG-expressing allogeneic tumor cells, which are most practical for clinical use, as a novel platform for ex vivo and in situ vaccination.
Murine B16 melanoma-derived cell lines expressing autologous or allogeneic MHC class I, expressing fusogenic or nonfusogenic VSV-G, were used to vaccinate mice in vivo against a live tumor challenge. Exosome-like vesicles released by fusing allogeneic cells (syncitiosomes) and intratumoral injection of fusing vaccines were also tested as novel therapeutic strategies for their antitumor effects.
Expression of fusogenic VSV-G enhanced the immunogenicity of an allogeneic cellular vaccine, which was more effective than a fusing autologous vaccine. Allogeneic syncitiosomes were only as effective as cellular vaccines when administered with adjuvant, demonstrating that syncitiosomes cannot account entirely for the mechanism of immune priming. Intratumoral injection of FMG-expressing allogeneic cells led to significant tumor regression using both fusogenic or nonfusogenic VSV-G. However, specific priming against tumor-associated antigenic epitopes and protection against secondary rechallenge only occurred if the initial vaccine was competent for cell fusion.
FMG-expressing allogeneic tumor cells are a potent source of antitumor vaccines. Syncitiosomes given with adjuvant and intratumoral injection of fusing cells represent novel strategies well-suited to clinical translation.
Clinical Cancer Research 03/2006; 12(4):1333-41. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fusogenic membrane glycoproteins (FMG) are a family of viral genes that, when expressed in tumour cells, trigger extensive cell to cell fusion and subsequent cell death. Gene therapy approaches using FMG are also potentially immunogenic, since syncitia generated ex vivo can be therapeutic as antitumour vaccines in murine models. This study has addressed the mechanisms responsible for the immunogenicity of FMG-mediated cell death, and its applicability to human immune priming. We show that fusion of human Mel888 melanoma cells following transfection with FMG can reverse the suppressive effects of Mel888 on dendritic cells (DC) phenotype, and potentiate IL-12 production by DC on activation in a cell contact-dependent manner. DC loaded with fusing, but not intact, tumour cells primed a naive, tumour-specific cytotoxic T-cell response, which was MHC class I-restricted and associated with production of high levels of IFNgamma and, later, IL-5. Fusing cells were an effective source of antigen for DC cross-priming and presentation of the melanoma-specific antigen gp100 to a specific T-cell clone. These data show, in a human system, that FMG represent an immunogenic, as well as cytotoxic, gene therapy for cancer, reversing the inhibitory effects of tumour cells on DC to potentiate IL-12 production and naive T-cell priming.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) of the immune system, uniquely able to prime naive T-cell responses. They are the focus of a range of novel strategies for the immunotherapy of cancer, a proportion of which include treating DC with ionising radiation to high dose. The effects of radiation on DC have not, however, been fully characterised. We therefore cultured human myeloid DC from CD14+ precursors, and studied the effects of ionising radiation on their phenotype and function. Dendritic cells were remarkably resistant against radiation-induced apoptosis, showed limited changes in surface phenotype, and mostly maintained their endocytic, phagocytic and migratory capacity. However, irradiated DC were less effective in a mixed lymphocyte reaction, and on maturation produced significantly less IL-12 than unirradiated controls, while IL-10 secretion was maintained. Furthermore, peptide-pulsed irradiated mature DC were less effective at naive T-cell priming, stimulating fewer effector cells with lower cytotoxicity against antigen-specific targets. Hence irradiation of DC in vitro, and potentially in vivo, has a significant impact on their function, and may shift the balance between T-cell activation and tolerization in DC-mediated immune responses.
British Journal of Cancer 05/2005; 92(8):1450-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells are key orchestrators of the immune system. There is considerable interest in their use for treating cancer. Whether they initiate an effective cytotoxic response against antigen-bearing cells, or produce tolerance, depends on the context in which those antigens are presented. Ionising radiation, and the cell death it causes, has several properties that may facilitate such an effective response. A range of in-vitro and in-vivo data supports this, although potential problems exist that may require concurrent strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe here a novel strategy to enhance the in vivo efficacy of replicating adenovirus therapy, using coinjection of plasmid DNA encoding a fusogenic viral glycoprotein. The combination of fusogenic membrane glycoprotein (FMG)-induced tumor cell fusion and infection with replicating adenovirus effectively treats even large established tumors at doses of plasmid DNA and virus that alone are ineffective. Adenoviral infection appears to increase the transduction of the tumor cells to a modest degree thereby boosting the FMG-mediated component of the therapy. Simultaneously, syncytial formation enhances the therapeutic effects of viral infection by increasing spread of adenoviral particles through the tumor cell population and by increasing titer of virus released from the tumor cells. This effect is due probably to release of intracellular viral particles upon tumor cell death and also to increased levels of E1A protein within syncytia, whose increased metabolic rate is associated with enhanced levels of protein expression. Cotransduction of tumor cells with replicating adenovirus and FMG-expressing vectors could either be combined within single replicating vectors or could be used in strategies using separate administration of two components, both at lower doses than required for either therapy alone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antigenic cross-reactivity between certain tumours has allowed the development of more widely applicable, major histocompatibility complex-disparate (allogeneic) whole-cell vaccines. This principle should also allow heat shock proteins (hsp) derived from certain tumours (and carrying cross-reactive antigens) to be used as vaccines to generate anti-tumour immunity in a range of cancer patients. Here, hsp70 derived from gp70-antigen+ B16 melanoma generated cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte-mediated immune protection in BALB/c mice against challenge with gp70-antigen+ CT26 colorectal tumour cells. Using ovalbumin as a model tumour antigen, it is shown that hsp70 enhances peptide re-presentation by dendritic cells via class I over equimolar whole ovalbumin antigen. However, while transfection of tumour cells with inducible hsp70 increases hsp yield from tumours, it does not enhance antigen recognition via purified hsp70 nor via whole cells or their lysate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fusion of tumor cells with antigen-presenting cells (APCs) has been proposed for the preparation of cancer vaccines. However, generation of these hybrids, using physical or chemical methods such as electrofusion or polyethylene glycol (PEG), has been difficult to standardize. Characterization of cell fusion has also been problematic because of difficulties in differentiating fusion from cell aggregation, leakage of cellular dyes and dendritic-cell (DC) phagocytosis of tumor material. In this report, we describe a new method to generate hybrid cell vaccines, based on gene transfer of a viral fusogenic membrane glycoprotein (FMG) into tumor cells, and incorporate a genetic method by which true hybrid formation can be unambiguously detected. We describe a new class of tumor cell-DC hybrid that can be rapidly isolated after cell fusion. These hybrids are highly potent in in vitro antigen presentation assays, target lymph nodes in vivo and are powerful immunogens against established metastatic disease.
Nature Medicine 10/2003; 9(9):1215-9. · 22.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of viral fusogenic membrane glycoproteins (FMGs) is a potent strategy for antitumor cytotoxic gene therapy in which tumor cells are fused into large multinucleated syncytia. To understand how local cell killing can potentiate activation of antitumor immune responses, we characterized the mechanism of FMG-mediated cell killing. Here, we show that syncytia are highly ordered structures over 24-48 h but then die through processes that, by multiple morphological and biochemical criteria, bear very little resemblance to classical apoptosis. Death of syncytia is associated with nuclear fusion and premature chromosome condensation as well as severe ATP depletion and autophagic degeneration, accompanied by release of vesicles reminiscent of exosomes (syncytiosomes). Dying syncytia produce significantly more syncytiosomes than normal cells or cells killed by irradiation, freeze thaw, or osmotic shock. These syncytiosomes also load dendritic cells (DCs) more effectively than exosomes from cells dying by other mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrate that syncytiosomes from either autologous or allogeneic fusing melanoma cells lead to cross-presentation of a defined tumor antigen, gp100, by DCs to a gp100-specific CTL clone. Cross-presentation was significantly more efficient than that with exosomes from normal, irradiated, or herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir-killed tumor cells. Therefore, FMG-mediated cell killing combines very effective local tumor cell killing with the potential to be a highly immunogenic method of cytotoxic gene therapy. In addition, these data open the way for novel methods of loading DCs with relevant tumor-associated antigens for vaccine development.
Cancer Research 12/2002; 62(22):6566-78. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have investigated how to make K1735 cells, a poor allogeneic melanoma vaccine, more effective for protection against B16 in vivo. To promote antigen release in an immunologically effective manner, tumor cells were transfected with a viral fusogenic membrane glycoprotein (vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein), which kills cells through the formation, and degeneration, of large multinucleated syncytia. Vaccines consisting of a 1:1 mix of fusing allogeneic and autologous cells led to dramatic increases in survival of mice in both prophylactic and therapy models, dependent upon T cells, the mechanism of tumor-tumor cell fusion, and the nature of the fusion partner. Syncytia activate macrophages and fusogenic membrane glycoprotein-mediated cell killing very efficiently promotes cross-priming of immature dendritic cells with a model tumor antigen. Our data suggest that the unique manner in which syncytia develop and die provides a highly effective pathway for tumor antigen release and presentation to the immune system and offers a novel mechanism by which cancer cell vaccines may be prepared for clinical use.
Cancer Research 11/2002; 62(19):5495-504. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a strategy termed "Protease Targeting", retroviral vectors carrying an EGF infectivity-blocking domain fused to the N-terminus of the envelope SU via a MMP (matrix metalloproteinase)-cleavable linker were successfully used to target gene delivery to EGF receptor-(EGF-R-)positive tumour cells over-expressing MMPs. In the current study, we aimed to investigate whether this strategy could be applied to (a) limit the cytotoxic activity of a hyperfusogenic GALV therapeutic gene, and (b) enhance the immune-stimulatory properties of GALV via local, MMP-mediated release human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF).
We generated GALV envelope expression constructs displaying EGF or GM-CSF blocking ligands at the N-terminus of GALV envelope SU via a non-cleavable, Factor Xa protease or MMP-cleavable linker and investigated their cytotoxicity on MMP-positive and negative cell lines.
The unmodified hyperfusogenic GALV envelope was cytotoxic to all cell lines tested. The non-cleavable linker GALV envelope constructs caused no cytotoxicity, demonstrating efficient inhibition by the displayed domains. Moderate activation of fusion of the protease-cleavable linker constructs was observed in all cell lines, regardless of their level of MMP expression and of the specificity of the linker. High levels of the 'blocking domain' were detected in the cell supernatants due to dissociation of the surface unit (SU) from the transmembrane (TM) component of the GALV envelope glycoprotein TM.
Unlike protease targeting in the context of retroviral vectors, protease activation of the cytotoxicity of GALV envelope by cleavage of a fusion blocking ligand at the cell surface does not appear to be specifically mediated by cell-surface MMPs. In addition, shedding of the SU-fusion protein from the TM limits the general applicability of this strategy for cancer gene therapy. Specificity of cell-cell fusion mediated by GALV envelope cannot be manipulated in the same fashion as virus-cell fusion.
The Journal of Gene Medicine 01/2002; 4(6):592-600. · 2.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Locally advanced, relapsed and metastatic prostate cancer has a dismal prognosis with conventional therapies offering no more than palliation. In recent years advances achieved in understanding the molecular biology of cancer have afforded clinicians and scientists the opportunity to develop a range of novel genetic therapies for this disease.
We performed a detailed review of published reports of gene therapy for prostate cancer. Particular emphasis was placed on recent developments in the arena of nonviral (plasmid DNA, DNA coated gold particles, liposomes and polymer DNA complexes) and viral (adenovirus, retrovirus, adeno-associated virus, herpes virus and pox virus) vectors. Therapeutic strategies were categorized as corrective, cytoreductive and immunomodulatory gene therapy for the purpose of data analysis and comparison.
Locoregional administration of nonviral and viral vectors can yield impressive local gene expression and therapeutic effects but to our knowledge no efficient systemically delivered vector is available to date. Corrective gene therapy to restore normal patterns of tumor suppressor gene (p53, Rb, p21 and p16) expression or negate the effect of mutated tumor promoting oncogenes (ras, myc, erbB2 and bcl-2) have efficacy in animal models but this approach suffers from the fact that each cancer cell must be targeted. A wide variety of cytoreductive strategies are under development, including suicide, anti-angiogenic, radioisotopic and pro-apoptotic gene therapies. Each approach has strengths and weaknesses, and may best be suited for use in combination. Immunomodulatory gene therapy seeks to generate an effective local immune response that translates to systemic antitumor activity. Currently most studies involve immunostimulatory cytokine genes, such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, or interleukin-2 or 12.
Various therapeutic genes have proved activity against prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. However, the chief challenge facing clinical gene therapy strategies is the lack of efficient gene delivery by local and systemic routes. For the foreseeable future vector development may remain a major focus of ongoing research. Despite this caveat it is anticipated that gene therapy approaches may significantly contribute to the management of prostate cancer in the future.
The Journal of Urology 11/2001; 166(4):1220-33. · 3.75 Impact Factor