[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immunogenicity of malignant cells has recently been acknowledged as a critical determinant of efficacy in cancer therapy. Thus, besides developing direct immunostimulatory regimens including dendritic cell-based vaccines, checkpoint-blocking therapies, and adoptive T-cell transfer, researchers have started to focus on the overall immunobiology of neoplastic cells. It is now clear that cancer cells can succumb to some anticancer therapies by undergoing a peculiar form of cell death that is characterized by an increased immunogenic potential, owing to the emission of so-called “damage/associated molecular patterns” (DAMPs). The emission of DAMPs and other immunostimulatory factors by cells succumbing to immunogenic cell death (ICD) favors the establishment of a productive interface with the immune system. This results in the elicitation of tumor-targeting immune responses associated with the elimination of residual, treatment-resistant cancer cells, as well as with the establishment of immunological memory. Although ICD has been characterized with increased precision since its discovery, several questions remain to be addressed. Here, we summarize and tabulate the main molecular, immunological, preclinical and clinical aspects of ICD, in an attempt to capture the essence of this clinically relevant phenomenon, and identify future challenges for this rapidly expanding field of investigation.
Frontiers in Immunology 11/2015; 6:588. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00588
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite many clinical trials conducted with oncolytic viruses, the exact tumor-level mechanisms affecting therapeutic efficacy have not been established. Currently there are no biomarkers available that would predict the clinical outcome to any oncolytic virus. To assess the baseline immunological phenotype and find potential prognostic biomarkers we monitored mRNA expression levels in 31 tumor biopsy or fluid samples from 27 patients treated with oncolytic adenovirus. Additionally, protein expression was studied from 19 biopsies using immunohistochemical staining. We found highly significant changes in several signaling pathways and genes associated with immune responses, such as B cell receptor signaling (p<0.001), GM-CSF signaling (p<0.001) and leukocyte extravasation signaling (p<0.001), in patients surviving a shorter time than their controls. In immunohistochemical analysis, markers CD4 and CD163 were significantly elevated (p=0.020 and p=0.016 respectively), in patients with shorter than expected survival. Interestingly, T cell exhaustion marker TIM-3 was also found to be significantly upregulated (p=0.006) in patients with poor prognosis. Collectively these data suggest that activation of several functions of the innate immunity before treatment is associated with inferior survival in patients treated with oncolytic adenovirus. Conversely, lack of chronic innate inflammation at baseline may predict improved treatment outcome, as suggested by good overall prognosis.Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.143.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Public perception and anxiety of familial cancer have increased demands for clinical counseling, which may be well equipped for gene testing but less prepared for counseling of the large domain of familial cancer with unknown genetic background. The aim of the present study was to highlight the full scope of familial cancer and the variable levels of risk that need to be considered. Data on the 25 most common cancers were obtained from the Swedish Family Cancer Database and a Poisson regression model was applied to estimate relative risks (RR) distinguishing between family histories of single or multiple affected first-degree relatives and their diagnostic ages. For all cancers, individual risks were significantly increased if a parent or a sibling had a concordant cancer. While the RRs were around 2.00 for most cancers, risks were up to 10-fold increased for some cancers. Familial risks were even higher when multiple relatives were affected. Although familial risks were highest at ages below 60 years, most familial cases were diagnosed at older ages. The results emphasized the value of a detailed family history as a readily available tool for individualized counseling and its preventive potential for a large domain of non-syndromatic familial cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In clinical trials with oncolytic adenoviruses, there has been no mortality associated with treatment vectors. Likewise, in the Advanced Therapy Access Program (ATAP), where 290 patients were treated with 10 different viruses, no vector related mortality was observed. However, as the patient population who received adenovirus treatments in ATAP represented heavily pretreated patients, often with very advanced disease, some patients died relatively soon after receiving their virus treatment mandating autopsy to investigate cause of death. Eleven such autopsies were performed and confirmed disease progression as the cause of death in each case. The regulatory requirement for investigating the safety of advanced therapy medical products presented a unique opportunity to study tissue samples collected as a routine part of the autopsies. Oncolytic adenoviral DNA was recovered in a wide range of tissues, including injected and non-injected tumors and various normal tissues, demonstrating the ability of the vector to disseminate through the vascular route. Furthermore, we recovered and cultured viable virus from samples of non-injected brain metastases of an intravenously treated patient, confirming that oncolytic adenovirus can reach tumors through the intravascular route. Data presented here give mechanistic insight into mode of action and biodistribution of oncolytic adenoviruses in cancer patients.Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.125.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dogs suffer from spontaneous tumors which may be amenable to therapies developed for human cancer patients, and dogs may serve as large-animal cancer models. A non-pathogenic Semliki Forest virus vector VA7-EGFP previously showed promise in targeting human tumor xenografts in mice, but the oncolytic capacity of the virus in canine cancer cells and the safety of the virus in higher mammals such as dogs, are not known. We therefore assessed the oncolytic potency of VA7-EGFP against canine cancer cells by infectivity and viability assays in two dog solid tumor cell lines. Furthermore we performed a 3-week safety study in two adult Beagles which received a single intravenous injection of ~2 × 10(5) plaque forming units of parental A7(74) strain.
VA7-EGFP was able to replicate in and kill both canine cancer cell lines tested. No adverse events were observed in either of the two virus-injected adult Beagles and no infective virus could be recovered from any of the biological samples collected over the course of the study. Neutralizing antibodies to Semliki Forest virus became detectable in the dogs at 5 days post infection and remained elevated until study termination.
Based on these results, testing of the oncolytic potential of attenuated Semliki Forest virus in canine cancer patients appears feasible.
BMC Veterinary Research 07/2015; 11(1):170. DOI:10.1186/s12917-015-0498-2 · 1.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unfavorable ratios between the number and activation status of effector and suppressor immune cells infiltrating the tumor contribute to resistance of solid tumors to T-cell based therapies. Here, we studied the capacity of FDA and EMA approved recombinant cytokines to manipulate this balance in favor of efficient anti-tumor responses in B16.OVA melanoma bearing C57BL/6 mice. Intratumoral administration of IFN-α2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2 significantly enhanced the anti-tumor effect of ovalbumin-specific CD8+ T-cell (OT-I) therapy, whereas GM-CSF increased tumor growth in association with an increase in immunosuppressive cell populations. None of the cytokines augmented tumor trafficking of OT-I cells significantly, but injections of IFN-α2, IFN-γ and IL-2 increased intratumoral cytokine secretion and recruitment of endogenous immune cells capable of stimulating T-cells, such as natural killer and maturated CD11c+ antigen-presenting cells. Moreover, IFN-α2 and IL-2 increased the levels of activated tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T-cells concomitant with reduction in the CD8+ T-cell expression of anergy markers CTLA-4 and PD-1. In conclusion, intratumoral administration of IFN-α2, IFN-γ and IL-2 can lead to immune sensitization of the established tumor, whereas GM-CSF may contribute to tumor-associated immunosuppression. The results described here provide rationale for including local administration of immunostimulatory cytokines into T-cell therapy regimens. One appealing embodiment of this would be vectored delivery which could be advantageous over direct injection of recombinant molecules with regard to efficacy, cost, persistence and convenience.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0131242. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0131242 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenoviruses are excellent immunotherapeutic agents with a unique ability to prime and boost immune responses. Recombinant adenoviruses cause immunogenic cancer cell death and subsequent release of tumor antigens for antigen presenting cells, resulting in the priming of potent tumor-specific immunity. This effect may be further enhanced by immune-stimulating transgenes expressed by the virus. We report a case of a 38-year-old female with Stage 3 metastatic micropapillary serous carcinoma of the ovary. She was treated in a Phase I study with a granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GMCSF)-expressing oncolytic adenovirus, Ad5/3-D24-GMCSF (ONCOS-102). The treatment resulted in progressive infiltration of CD8(+) lymphocytes into the tumor and concomitant systemic induction of several tumor-specific CD8(+) T-cell populations. The patient was alive at the latest follow up more than 20 months after initiation of the study.