ABSTRACT: Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) has strong antitumor effects, and IFN-α gene therapy has been used clinically against some cancers. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the combination of IFN-α-transduced tumor cell vaccines and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) blockade, and investigated the mechanisms of the antitumor effects of the combined therapy. A poorly immunogenic murine colorectal cancer cell line, MC38, was transduced to overexpress IFN-α. In a therapeutic model, parental tumor-bearing mice were inoculated with MC38-IFNα cells and an anti-PD-1 antagonistic antibody. Analyses of immunohistochemistry and tumor-specific lysis were performed. The outgrowth of the established tumors was significantly reduced in mice treated with the combination of IFN-α and anti-PD-1. Immunohistochemical analyses of the therapeutic model showed marked infiltration of CD4(+) cells and CD8(+) cells in the established MC38 tumors of mice treated with both IFN-α and anti-PD-1. Significant tumor-specific cytolysis was detected when splenocytes of mice that were treated with both IFN-α and anti-PD-1 were used as effector cells. These results suggest that blockade of the PD-1 PD-ligand enhanced the Th1-type antitumor immune responses induced by IFN-α. The combination of IFN-α gene-transduced tumor cell vaccines and PD-1 blockade may be a possible candidate for a cancer vaccine for clinical trials.
Cancer gene therapy 07/2012; 19(9):637-43. · 3.13 Impact Factor