Chien-Fu Hung

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States

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Publications (150)576.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Imiquimod is a toll-like receptor 7 agonist utilized topically to manage genital warts and basal cell carcinoma. We examine the combination of topical imiquimod with intramuscular administration of CRT/E7, a therapeutic HPV vaccination that comprises a naked DNA vector expressing calreticulin fused to HPV16 E7. Experimental Design: Using an orthotopic HPV16 E6/E7+ syngeneic tumor, TC-1, as a model of high-grade cervical/vaginal/vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, we show that combining CRT/E7 vaccination with cervicovaginal deposition of imiquimod results in synergistic immune-mediated tumor clearance. Results: Imiquimod induces cervicovaginal accumulation of activated E7-specific CD8+ T cells elicited by CRT/E7 vaccination. Recruitment was not dependent upon the specificity of the activated CD8+ T cells, but was significantly reduced in mice lacking the IFNγ receptor. Intravaginal imiquimod deposition induced upregulation of CXCL9 and CXCL10 mRNA expression in the genital tract. These chemokines are expressed upon IFNγ receptor activation and attract cells expressing their receptor, CXCR3. In this study, T cells attracted by imiquimod to the cervicovaginal tract expressed CXCR3 as well as the tissue resident memory T cell (Trm) marker CD49a, a mucosal homing integrin. Our results indicate that intramuscular CRT/E7 vaccination in conjunction with intravaginal imiquimod deposition recruits antigen-specific CXCR3+CD8+ T cells to the genital tract. Conclusions: Our study has potential clinical relevance because imiquimod is FDA approved for condyloma accuminata and basal cell carcinoma and intramuscular vaccination with pNGVL4a-CRT/E7(detox) is currently undergoing clinical testing, suggesting potential for their synergistic action to induce strong antigen-specific Trm-mediated immune responses and antitumor effects in genital mucosa.
    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy is more effective than systemic chemotherapy for treating advanced ovarian cancer, but is typically associated with severe complications due to high dose, frequent administration schedule, and use of non-biocompatible excipients/delivery vehicles. Here, we developed paclitaxel (PTX)-loaded microspheres composed of di-block copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(sebacic acid) (PEG-PSA) for safe and sustained IP chemotherapy. PEG-PSA microspheres provided efficient loading (~ 13% w/w) and prolonged release (~ 13 days) of PTX. In a murine ovarian cancer model, a single dose of IP PTX/PEG-PSA particles effectively suppressed tumor growth for more than 40 days and extended the median survival time to 75 days compared to treatments with Taxol(®) (47 days) or IP placebo particles (34 days). IP PTX/PEG-PSA was well tolerated, with only minimal to mild inflammation. Our findings support PTX/PEG-PSA microspheres as a promising drug delivery platform for IP therapy of ovarian cancer, and potentially other metastatic peritoneal cancers.
    Drug delivery and translational research. 04/2014; 4(2):203-209.
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    ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are particularly problematic for HIV + and solid organ transplant patients with compromised CD4+ T cell-dependent immunity as they produce more severe and progressive disease compared to healthy individuals. There are no specific treatments for chronic HPV infection, resulting in an urgent unmet need for a modality that is safe and effective for both immunocompromised and otherwise normal patients with recalcitrant disease. DNA vaccination is attractive because it avoids the risks of administration of live vectors to immunocompromised patients, and can induce potent HPV-specific cytotoxic T cell responses. We have developed a DNA vaccine (pNGVL4a-hCRTE6E7L2) encoding calreticulin (CRT) fused to E6, E7 and L2 proteins of HPV-16, the genotype associated with approximately 90% vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile and oropharyngeal HPV-associated cancers and the majority of cervical cancers. Administration of the DNA vaccine by intramuscular (IM) injection followed by electroporation induced significantly greater HPV-specific immune responses compared to IM injection alone or mixed with alum. Furthermore, pNGVL4a-hCRTE6E7L2 DNA vaccination via electroporation of mice carrying an intravaginal HPV-16 E6/E7-expressing syngeneic tumor demonstrated more potent therapeutic effects than IM vaccination alone. Of note, administration of the DNA vaccine by IM injection followed by electroporation elicited potent E6 and E7-specific CD8+ T cell responses and antitumor effects despite CD4+ T cell-depletion, although no antibody response was detected. While CD4+ T cell-depletion did reduce the E6 and E7-specific CD8+ T cell response, it remained sufficient to prevent subcutaneous tumor growth and to eliminate circulating tumor cells in a model of metastatic HPV-16+ cancer. Thus, the antibody response was CD4-dependent, whereas CD4+ T cell help enhanced the E6/E7-specific CD8+ T cell immunity, but was not required. Taken together, our data suggest that pNGVL4a-hCRTE6E7L2 DNA vaccination via electroporation warrants testing in otherwise healthy patients and those with compromised CD4+ T cell immunity to treat HPV-16-associated anogenital disease and cancer.
    Cell & bioscience. 03/2014; 4(1):11.
  • Jayne Knoff, Benjamin Yang, Chien-Fu Hung, T-C Wu
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    ABSTRACT: It is well known that human papillomavirus (HPV) is the causative agent of cervical cancer. The integration of HPV genes into the host genome causes the upregulation of E6 and E7 oncogenes. E6 and E7 proteins inactivate and degrade tumor suppressors p53 and retinoblastoma, respectively, leading to malignant progression. HPV E6 and E7 antigens are ideal targets for the development of therapies for cervical cancer and precursor lesions because they are constitutively expressed in infected cells and malignant tumors but not in normal cells and they are essential for cell immortalization and transformation. Immunotherapies are being developed to target E6/E7 by eliciting antigen-specific immune responses. siRNA technologies target E6/E7 by modulating the expression of the oncoproteins. Proteasome inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors are being developed to indirectly target E6/E7 by interfering with their oncogenic activities. The ultimate goal for HPV-targeted therapies is the progression through clinical trials to commercialization.
    Current obstetrics and gynecology reports. 03/2014; 3(1):18-32.
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    ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynecological malignancies due to high chemoresistance to the combination of platinum with taxane. Immunotherapy against ovarian cancer is a promising strategy to develop from animal-based cancer research. We investigated changes in the immunogenicity of paclitaxel-exposed ovarian cancer cells following exposure to other chemotherapeutic drugs. Murine ovarian surface epithelial cells (MOSECs) showed some resistance to paclitaxel, a first-line therapy for ovarian cancer. However, MOSECs pre-exposed to paclitaxel died through apoptosis after incubation with doxorubicin or cisplatin for 2 h. Injected into mice, the paclitaxel-exposed MOSECs post-treated with doxorubicin induced more MOSEC-specific CD4+ T cells and extended survival for a greater time than MOSECs treated with paclitaxel alone; and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) expressed higher levels of co-stimulatory molecules and produced IL-12 after co-culture with paclitaxel-exposed MOSECs treated with doxorubicin. We also observed that in paclitaxel-exposed MOSECs treated with doxorubicin, but not cisplatin, the expression of MyD88 and related target proteins decreased compared to paclitaxel-exposed MOSECs only, while in BMDCs co-cultured with these MOSECs the expression of myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) increased. These findings suggest that paclitaxel pre-exposed cancer cells treated with doxorubicin can induce significant apoptosis and a therapeutic antitumor immune response in advanced ovarian cancer.
    International Journal of Oncology 02/2014; · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin E has been shown to have strong anticarcinogenic properties, including antioxidant characteristics, making it an ideal candidate for use in combination with immunotherapies that modify the tumor microenvironment. The tumor microenvironment contains immunosuppressive components, which can be diminished, and immunogenic components, which can be augmented by immunotherapies in order to generate a productive immune response. In the current study, we employ the α-tocopherol succinate isomer of vitamin E to reduce immunosuppression by myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) as well as adoptive transfer of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells to generate potent antitumor effects against the HPV16 E7-expressing TC-1 tumor model. We show that vitamin E alone induces necrosis of TC-1 cells and elicits antitumor effects in TC-1 tumor-bearing mice. We further demonstrate that vitamin E reverses the suppression of T cell activation by MDSCs and that this effect is mediated in part by a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism. Additionally, treatment with vitamin E reduces the percentage of MDSCs in tumor loci, and induces a higher percentage of T cells, following T cell adoptive transfer. Finally, we demonstrate that treatment with vitamin E followed by E7-specific T cell adoptive transfer experience elicits potent antitumor effects in tumor-bearing mice. Our data provide additional evidence that vitamin E has anticancer properties and that it has promise for use as an adjuvant in combination with a variety of cancer therapies.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e103562. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted virus, and its associated diseases continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in over 600 million infected individuals. Major progress has been made with preventative vaccines, and clinical data have emerged regarding the efficacy and cross-reactivity of the two FDA approved L1 virus like particle (VLP)-based vaccines. However, the cost of the approved vaccines currently limits their widespread use in developing countries which carry the greatest burden of HPV-associated diseases. Furthermore, the licensed preventive HPV vaccines only contain two high-risk types of HPV (HPV-16 and HPV-18) which can protect only up to 75 % of all cervical cancers. Thus, second generation preventative vaccine candidates hope to address the issues of cost and broaden protection through the use of more multivalent L1-VLPs, vaccine formulations, or alternative antigens such as L1 capsomers, L2 capsid proteins, and chimeric VLPs. Preventative vaccines are crucial to controlling the transmission of HPV, but there are already hundreds of millions of infected individuals who have HPV-associated lesions that are silently progressing toward malignancy. This raises the need for therapeutic HPV vaccines that can trigger T cell killing of established HPV lesions, including HPV-transformed tumor cells. In order to stimulate such antitumor immune responses, therapeutic vaccine candidates deliver HPV antigens in vivo by employing various bacterial, viral, protein, peptide, dendritic cell, and DNA-based vectors. This book chapter will review the commercially available preventive vaccines, present second generation candidates, and discuss the progress of developing therapeutic HPV vaccines.
    Recent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer 01/2014; 193:149-71.
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    ABSTRACT: CD40 and CD40 ligand (CD40L) are costimulatory molecules that play a pivotal role in the proinflammatory immune response. Primarily expressed by activated CD4+ T cells, CD40L binds to CD40 on antigen presenting cells (APCs), thereby inducing APC activation. APCs, in turn, prime cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Here, two tumor-associated antigen (TAA) animal models, p53-based and GP100-based, were utilized to examine the ability of CD40-CD40L to improve antigen-specific CTL-mediated antitumor immune responses. Although p53 and GP100 are self-antigens that generate low affinity antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, studies have shown that their functional avidity can be improved with CD40L-expressing APCs. Therefore, in the current study, we immunized mice with a DNA construct encoding a TAA in conjunction with another construct encoding CD40L via intramuscular injection followed by electroporation. We observed a significant increase in the antigen-specific CTL-mediated immune responses as well as the potent antitumor effects in both models. Antibody depletion experiments demonstrated that CD8+ T cells play a crucial role in eliciting antitumor effects in vaccinated mice. Furthermore, we showed that in vitro stimulation with irradiated tumor cells expressing both TAA and CD40L improved the functional avidity of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Thus, our data show that vaccination with TAA/CD40L DNA can induce potent antitumor effects against TAA-expressing tumors through the generation of better functioning antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Our study serves as an important foundation for future clinical translation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e93162. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is an urgent need to develop targeted therapies for the control of advanced stage ovarian cancer because it is the most deadly gynecologic cancer. Antigen-specific immunotherapy is a promising approach because of the potential of the immune system to specifically target tumors without the toxicity associated with traditional chemoradiation. However, one of the major limitations for antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy is the pre-existing immune tolerance against endogenous targeted tumor antigens that frequently evolves during carcinogenesis. Here, we described the creation of a therapeutic agent comprised of a tumor-homing module fused to a functional domain capable of selectively rendering tumor cells sensitive to foreign antigen-specific CD8+ T cell-mediated immune attack, thereby circumventing many aspects of immune tolerance. The tumor-homing module, NKG2D, specifically binds to NKG2D ligand that is commonly overexpressed in ovarian tumors. The functional domain is comprised of the Fc portion of IgG2a protein and foreign immunogenic CD8+ T cell epitope flanked by furin cleavage sites (R), which can be recognized and cleaved by furin that is highly expressed in the tumor microenvironment. We show that this therapeutic chimeric protein specifically loaded antigenic epitope onto the surface of NKG2D ligand-expressing ovarian tumor cells, rendering ovarian tumors susceptible to antigen-specific CTL-mediated killing in vitro. Furthermore, we show that intraperitoneal administration of our therapeutic chimeric protein followed by adoptive transfer of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells generates potent antitumor effects and significant accumulation of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in the tumor loci. Our findings have promise for bypassing immune tolerance to enhance cancer immunotherapy.
    Cell & bioscience. 12/2013; 3(1):48.
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    ABSTRACT: Local delivery of chemotherapeutics in the cervicovaginal tract using nanoparticles may reduce adverse side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy, while improving outcomes for early-stage cervical cancer. It is hypothesized here that drug-loaded nanoparticles that rapidly penetrate cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) lining the female reproductive tract will more effectively deliver their payload to underlying diseased tissues in a uniform and sustained manner compared with nanoparticles that do not efficiently penetrate CVM. Paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles are developed, composed entirely of polymers used in FDA-approved products, which rapidly penetrate human CVM and provide sustained drug release with minimal burst effect. A mouse model is further employed with aggressive cervical tumors established in the cervicovaginal tract to compare paclitaxel-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (conventional particles, or CP) and similar particles coated with Pluronic F127 (mucus-penetrating particles, or MPP). CP are mucoadhesive and, thus, aggregated in mucus, while MPP achieve more uniform distribution and close proximity to cervical tumors. Paclitaxel-MPP suppress tumor growth more effectively and prolong median survival of mice compared with unencapsulated paclitaxel or paclitaxel-CP. Histopathological studies demonstrate minimal toxicity to the cervicovaginal epithelia, suggesting paclitaxel-MPP may be safe for intravaginal use. These results demonstrate the in vivo advantages of polymer-based MPP for treatment of tumors localized to a mucosal surface.
    Advanced Healthcare Materials 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The bis-benzylidine piperidone RA190 covalently binds to cysteine 88 of ubiquitin receptor RPN13 in the 19S regulatory particle and inhibits proteasome function, triggering rapid accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins. Multiple myeloma (MM) lines, even those resistant to bortezomib, were sensitive to RA190 via endoplasmic reticulum stress-related apoptosis. RA190 stabilized targets of human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 oncoprotein, and preferentially killed HPV-transformed cells. After oral or intraperitoneal dosing of mice, RA190 distributed to plasma and major organs except the brain and inhibited proteasome function in skin and muscle. RA190 administration profoundly reduced growth of MM and ovarian cancer xenografts, and oral RA190 treatment retarded HPV16(+) syngeneic mouse tumor growth, without affecting spontaneous HPV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses, suggesting its therapeutic potential.
    Cancer cell 12/2013; 24(6):791-805. · 25.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiation therapy (RT) kills cancer cells by causing DNA damage, and stimulates a systemic antitumor immune response by releasing tumor antigen and endogenous adjuvant within the tumor microenvironment. However, RT also induces the recruitment of immunosuppressive myeloid cells, which can interfere with the antitumor immune responses elicited by apoptotic tumor cells. We hypothesized that local delivery of vaccine following RT will lead to the priming of antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) immune responses and render immunosuppressive myeloid cells susceptible to killing by the activated CTLs. Using several antigenic systems, we tested whether intratumoral injection of antigenic peptide/protein in irradiated tumors would be able to prime CTLs as well as load myeloid cells with antigen, rendering them susceptible to antigen-specific CTL killing. We show that by combining RT and targeted antigenic peptide delivery to the tumor, the adjuvant effect generated by RT itself was sufficient to elicit the priming and expansion of antigen-specific CTLs, through the type I interferon dependent pathway, leading to synergistic therapeutic antitumor effects compared to either treatment alone. In addition, using two different types of transgenic mice, we demonstrated that CTL-mediated killing of stromal cells in tumors by our approach is important for tumor control. Finally, we confirmed the efficacy of this approach in our preclinical model using two clinically tested therapeutic HPV vaccines. These data serve as an important foundation for the future clinical translation of RT combined with a clinically tested therapeutic HPV vaccine for the control of HPV-associated cancers.
    Clinical Cancer Research 12/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is a DNA virus expressing transcripts similar to the large T (LT) and small T (ST) transcripts of SV40, which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare and highly aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer. MCPyV LT antigen expression was found to be a requirement for MCC tumor maintenance and ST protein also likely contributes to the carcinogenesis of MCC. Previously, we have identified the probable immunodominant epitope of MCPyV LT and developed a DNA vaccine encoding this epitope linked to calreticulin. The LT-targeting DNA vaccine generated prolonged survival, decreased tumor size and increased LT-specific CD8+ T cells in tumor-bearing mice. In this study, we developed a MCPyV ST-expressing tumor cell line from B16 mouse melanoma cells. We then utilized this ST-expressing tumor cell line to test the efficacy of a DNA vaccine encoding ST. In ST-expressing tumor-bearing mice, this vaccine, pcDNA3-MCC/ST, generated a significant number of ST antigenic peptide-specific CD8+ T cells and experienced markedly enhanced survival compared to mice vaccinated with empty vector. The formation of an effective vaccine against MCPyV has the potential to advance the field of MCC therapy and may contribute to the control of this severe malignancy through immunotherapy. Both of the innovative technologies presented here provide opportunities to develop and test MCPyV-targeted therapies for the control of Merkel cell carcinoma.
    Cell & bioscience. 07/2013; 3(1):29.
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously created a potent DNA vaccine encoding calreticulin linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV) oncogenic protein E7 (CRT/E7). While treatment with the CRT/E7 DNA vaccine generates significant tumor-specific immune responses in vaccinated mice, the potency with the DNA vaccine could potentially be improved by co-administration of a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) as HDACi has been shown to increase the expression of MHC class I and II molecules. Thus, we aimed to determine whether co-administration of a novel HDACi, AR-42, with therapeutic HPV DNA vaccines could improve the activation of HPV antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells, resulting in potent therapeutic antitumor effects. To do so, HPV-16 E7-expressing murine TC-1 tumor-bearing mice were treated orally with AR-42 and/or CRT/E7 DNA vaccine via gene gun. Mice were monitored for E7-specific CD8(+) T cell immune responses and antitumor effects. TC-1 tumor-bearing mice treated with AR-42 and CRT/E7 DNA vaccine experienced longer survival, decreased tumor growth, and enhanced E7-specific immune response compared to mice treated with AR-42 or CRT/E7 DNA vaccine alone. Additionally, treatment of TC-1 cells with AR-42 increased the surface expression of MHC class I molecules and increased the susceptibility of tumor cells to the cytotoxicity of E7-specific T cells. This study indicates the ability of AR-42 to significantly enhance the potency of the CRT/E7 DNA vaccine by improving tumor-specific immune responses and antitumor effects. Both AR-42 and CRT/E7 DNA vaccines have been used in independent clinical trials; the current study serves as foundation for future clinical trials combining both treatments in cervical cancer therapy. KEY MESSAGE: AR-42, a novel HDAC inhibitor, enhances potency of therapeutic HPV DNA vaccines AR-42 treatment leads to strong E7-specific CD8+ T cell immune responses AR-42 improves tumor-specific immunity and antitumor effects elicited by HPV DNA vaccine AR-42 is more potent than clinically available HDACi in combination with HPV DNA vaccine.
    Journal of Molecular Medicine 05/2013; · 4.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the conventional treatments of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the 5-year survival rates for patients with advanced-stage cervical cancers remain low. Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as an alternative, innovative therapy that may improve survival. Here, we utilize a preclinical HPV-16 E6/E7-expressing tumor model, TC-1, and employ the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin to generate an accumulation of CD11c+ dendritic cells in tumor loci making it an ideal location for the administration of therapeutic vaccines. Following cisplatin treatment, we tested different routes of administration of a therapeutic HPV vaccinia vaccine encoding HPV-16 E7 antigen (CRT/E7-VV). We found that TC-1 tumor-bearing C57BL/6 mice treated with cisplatin and intratumoral injection of CRT/E7-VV significantly increased E7-specific CD8+ T cells in the blood and generated potent local and systemic antitumor immune responses compared to mice receiving cisplatin and CRT/E7-VV intraperitoneally or mice treated with cisplatin alone. We further extended our study using a clinical grade recombinant vaccinia vaccine encoding HPV-16/18 E6/E7 antigens (TA-HPV). We found that intratumoral injection with TA-HPV following cisplatin treatment also led to increased E7-specific CD8+ T cells in the blood as well as significantly decreased tumor size compared to intratumoral injection with wild type vaccinia virus. Our study has strong implications for future clinical translation using intratumoral injection of TA-HPV in conjunction with the current treatment strategies for patients with advanced cervical cancer.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 04/2013; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple classes of pharmacologic agents have the potential to induce the expression and release of pro-inflammatory factors from dying tumor cells. As a result, these cells can in theory elicit an immune response through various defined mechanisms to permanently eradicate disseminated cancer. However, the impact of chemotherapy on the tumor-specific immune response in the context of the tumor microenvironment is largely unknown. Within the tumor microenvironment, the immune response promoted by chemotherapy is antagonized by an immune-suppressive milieu, and the balance of these opposing forces dictates the clinical course of disease. Here we report that high antigen exposure within the tumor microenvironment following chemotherapy is sufficient to skew this balance in favor of a productive immune response. In elevating antigen exposure, chemotherapy can achieve long-term control of tumor progression without the need of an additional adjuvant. We found that chemotherapy initiated this phenomenon in the tumor microenvironment through an accumulation of dendritic cells, which stimulated CD8+ T cells and the type-I interferon pathway. From this conceptual base, we developed a simple approach to cancer therapy combining chemotherapy and vaccination that may be widely applicable.
    Cancer Research 02/2013; · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pivotal role of p53 as a tumor suppressor protein is illustrated by the fact that this protein is found mutated in more than 50% of human cancers. In most cases, mutations in p53 greatly increase the otherwise short half-life of this protein in normal tissue and cause it to accumulate in the cytoplasm of tumors. The overexpression of mutated p53 in tumor cells makes p53 a potentially desirable target for the development of cancer immunotherapy. However, p53 protein represents an endogenous tumor-associated antigen (TAA). Immunization against a self-antigen is challenging because an antigen-specific immune response likely generates only low affinity antigen-specific CD8 T-cells. This represents a bottleneck of tumor immunotherapy when targeting endogenous TAAs expressed by tumors. The objective of the current study is to develop a safe cancer immunotherapy using a naked DNA vaccine. The vaccine employs a xenogeneic p53 gene to break immune tolerance resulting in a potent therapeutic antitumor effect against tumors expressing mutated p53. Our study assessed the therapeutic antitumor effect after immunization with DNA encoding human p53 (hp53) or mouse p53 (mp53). Mice immunized with xenogeneic full length hp53 DNA plasmid intramuscularly followed by electroporation were protected against challenge with murine colon cancer MC38 while those immunized with mp53 DNA were not. In a therapeutic model, established MC38 tumors were also well controlled by treatment with hp53 DNA therapy in tumor bearing mice compared to mp53 DNA. Mice vaccinated with hp53 DNA plasmid also exhibited an increase in mp53-specific CD8 T-cell precursors compared to vaccination with mp53 DNA. Antibody depletion experiments also demonstrated that CD8 T-cells play crucial roles in the antitumor effects. This study showed intramuscular vaccination with xenogeneic p53 DNA vaccine followed by electroporation is capable of inducing potent antitumor effects against tumors expressing mutated p53 through CD8 T cells.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56912. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-tumor effect and potential mechanisms of i.p. hyperthermia in combination with α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) for the treatment of ovarian cancer. In this study, immuno-competent tumor models were established using murine ovarian cancer cell lines and treated with i.p. hyperthermia combining α-GalCer. Th1/Th2 cytokine expression profiles in the serum, NK cell cytotoxicity and phagocytic activities of dendritic cells (DCs) were assayed. We also analyzed the number of CD8(+)/IFN-γ(+) tumor specific cytotoxic T cells, as well as the tumor growth based on depletion of lymphocyte sub-population. Therapeutic effect on those ovarian tumors was monitored by a non-invasive luminescent imaging system. Intra-peritoneal hyperthermia induced significant pro-inflammatory cytokines expression, and sustained the response of NK and DCs induced by α-GalCer treatment. The combination treatment enhanced the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) immune response in two mouse ovarian cancer models. This novel treatment modality by combination of hyperthermia and glycolipid provides a pronounced anti-tumor immune response and better survival. In conclusion, intra-peritoneal hyperthermia enhanced the pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and phagocytic activity of DCs stimulated by α-GalCer. The subsequent CTL immune response induced by α-GalCer was further strengthened by combining with i.p. hyperthermia. Both innate and adaptive immunities were involved and resulted in a superior therapeutic effect in treating the ovarian cancer.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69336. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vaccination is, in theory, a safe and effective approach for controlling disseminated or metastatic cancer due to the specificity of the mammalian immune system, yet its success in the clinic has been hampered thus far by the problem of immune tolerance to tumor self-antigen. Here we describe a DNA vaccination strategy that is able to control cancer by overcoming immune tolerance to tumor self-antigen. We engineered a DNA construct encoding a dimeric form of a secreted single chain trimer of major histocompatibility complex class I heavy chain, β2-microglobulin, and peptide antigen linked to immunoglobulin G (SCT-Ag/IgG). The chimeric protein was able to bind to antigen-specific CD8+ T cells with nearly 100% efficiency and strongly induce their activation and proliferation. In addition, the chimeric protein was able to coat professional antigen-presenting cells through the Fc receptor to activate antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, intradermal vaccination with DNA encoding SCT-Ag/IgG could generate significant numbers of cytotoxic effector T cells against tumor self-antigen and leads to successful therapeutic outcomes in a preclinical model of metastatic melanoma. Our data suggest that the DNA vaccine strategy described in the current study is able to break immune tolerance against endogenous antigen and result in potent therapeutic antitumor effects. Such strategy may be used in other antigenic systems for the control of infections and/or cancers.
    Human gene therapy 12/2012; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potency of immunotherapies targeting endogenous tumor antigens is hindered by immune tolerance. We created a therapeutic agent comprised of a tumor-homing module fused to a functional domain capable of selectively rendering tumor cells sensitive to foreign antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell-mediated immune attack, and thereby, circumventing concerns for immune tolerance. The tumor-homing module is comprised of a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) that specifically binds to mesothelin (Meso), which is commonly overexpressed in human cancers, including ovarian tumors. The functional domain is comprised of the Fc portion of IgG2a protein and foreign immunogenic CD8(+) T cell epitope flanked by furin cleavage sites (R), which can be recognized and cleaved by furin that is highly expressed in the tumor microenvironment. We show that our therapeutic protein specifically loaded antigenic epitope onto the surface of mesothelin-expressing tumor cells, rendering tumors susceptible to antigen-specific cytotoxic CD8(+) T lymphocytes (CTL)-mediated killing in vitro and in vivo. Our findings have important implications for bypassing immune tolerance to enhance cancer immunotherapy.Molecular Therapy (2012); doi:10.1038/mt.2012.233.
    Molecular Therapy 11/2012; · 7.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
576.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2014
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2012
    • Mackay Memorial Hospital
      • Department of Pediatrics
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2011–2012
    • Chung-Ang University
      • College of Medicine
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2002–2012
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2010–2011
    • Fudan University
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    • National Taiwan University
      • School of Medicine
      Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Yale University
      • Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
      New Haven, CT, United States
  • 2006–2010
    • Korea University
      • Graduate School of Medicine
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2009
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2007–2009
    • Arizona State University
      • Department of Physics
      Mesa, AZ, United States
    • Taipei Medical University
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1997–2006
    • Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
      • • Division of Gynecologic Oncology
      • • Division of General Surgery
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Radiology
      Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2005
    • National Taiwan University Hospital
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan