Susanne Stumm

Universität Heidelberg, Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (11)44.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Adjuvant treatment is still only working in a small percentage of breast cancer patients. Therefore, new strategies need to be developed. Immunotherapies are a very promising approach because they could successfully attack tumor cells in the stage of dormancy. To assess the feasibility of using an allogeneic approach for vaccination of breast cancer patients, we selected a CD80-transfected breast cancer cell line based on its immunogenic properties. Using CD80+ KS breast cancer cells and human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*02-matched peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of breast cancer patients in allogeneic mixed lymphocyte-tumor cell cultures (MLTCs), it was possible to isolate HLA-A*02-restricted cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). Furthermore, a genetically modified KS variant expressing influenza A matrix protein serving as a surrogate tumor-associated antigen (TAA) was able to stimulate flu peptide-specific T cells alongside the induction of alloresponses in MLTCs. KS breast cancer cells were demonstrated to express already known TAAs such as CEA, MUC-1, MAGE-1, MAGE-2, and MAGE-3. To further improve antigenicity, HER-2/neu was added to this panel as a marker antigen known to elicit HLA-A*02-restricted CTLs in patients with breast cancer. Thus, the antigen-processing and antigen-presentation capacity of KS cells was further demonstrated by the stimulation of HER-2/neu-specific CD8+ T cells in PBMCs of breast cancer patients in vitro. These results gave a good rationale for a phase I/II trial, where the CD80+ HER-2/neu-overexpressing KS variant is actually used as a cellular vaccine in patients with metastatic breast cancer. As a proof of principle, we present data from two patients where a significant increase of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) release was detected when postvaccination PBMCs were stimulated by allogeneic vaccine cells as well as by HLA-A*02-restricted HER-2/neu epitopes. In whole cell vaccine trials, monitoring is particularly challenging because of strong alloresponses and limited knowledge of TAAs. In this study, a panel of HER-2/neu epitopes, together with the quantitative real time (qRT)-PCR method to analyze vaccine-induced cytokines secreted by T cells, proved to be highly sensitive and feasible to perform an "immunological staging" following vaccination.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative compounds that are physiologically generated in vivo can induce natural defense mechanisms to enhance the elimination of pathogens and to limit inflammatory tissue damage in the course of inflammation. Here, we have investigated WF10, a chlorite-based non-toxic compound for its functional activities on human PBMC in vitro. WF10 exerts potent immune-modulatory effects through generating endogenous oxidative compounds such as taurine chloramine. Proliferation and IL-2 production of anti-CD3 stimulated PBMC were inhibited by WF10, as was the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor NFATc. In PBMC and monocytes, however, WF10 induced pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-1beta, IL-8, and TNF-alpha. In the monocytic cell line THP-1, the activation of the transcription factors AP-1 and NFkappaB by WF10 was demonstrated. Inhibition of NFAT regulated genes in activated lymphocytes in concert with the induction of several myeloid cell associated pro-inflammatory genes in monocytes represents a novel mechanism of immune modulation.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2004 · Cellular Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Cytotoxic chemotherapy of advanced breast cancer is frequently complicated by drug resistance. Our goal was to define the role of the apoptosis-regulating receptors Fas (CD95) and CD40 in the chemosensitivity of breast cancer. The sensitivity of four breast cancer cell lines to paclitaxel and mitoxantrone was evaluated using an ATP-based cell viability assay. After verification of apoptosis by annexin V staining and TUNEL assay, cell lines were characterized regarding their constitutive expression of both surface and soluble (s)Fas (CD95) and Fas ligand (Fas-L). The role of the Fas/Fas-L system and different caspases was assessed by blocking drug-mediated apoptosis with specific antibodies. Finally, the paclitaxel sensitivity of the CD40-negative cell line KS was compared to that of its CD40-positive transfectant KS-CD40. While the cytotoxic effect of mitoxantrone did not correlate with Fas expression, the results presented here suggest some involvement of the Fas/Fas-L system in paclitaxel-induced apoptosis. Cell lines with constitutive expression of Fas/sFas demonstrated a higher sensitivity to paclitaxel than Fas-negative cells. Incubation with paclitaxel led to a measurable downregulation of the expression of both soluble and surface Fas receptor in these cells. Interestingly, stimulation of the CD40 receptor inhibited paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in the transfected cell line KS-CD40, suggesting a role of this receptor in the modulation of chemosensitivity.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Oncology
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2004 · Cancer Cell International

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2003 · Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The majority of tumor-associated antigens are derived from nonmutated self proteins. Little is currently understood about the existence and nature of self-reactive T cells that recognize these antigens in healthy volunteers or cancer patients. Here we try to establish culture conditions to expand Her-2/neu- and MAGE-A1-specific T cells from the blood of healthy donors. Material and Methods: Unseparated peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HLA-A*0201+ healthy donors were stimulated using the well characterized tumorantigens Her-2/neu369-377 and MAGE-A1 278-296 for in vitro immunization. The influence of different peptide concentrations loaded on autologous antigen-presenting cells on the phenotype and function of the established T cell lines was elucidated. After repetitive stimulations T cells were assayed for peptide specificity as well as tumor recognition in cytotoxicity tests. Results: Using in vitro immunization protocols it was possible to stimulate tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes from the blood of healthy donors. This was supported by lower peptide concentrations. However, MAGE-A1278-296-specific T cells failed to react with a panel of HLA-A*0201+/MAGE-A1 + tumor cells. Her-2/neu369-377-specific T cells were able to lyse HLA-A*0201+/Her-2/neu+ tumor cell lines after additional exogeneous peptide-loading. Conclusion: T cell responses toward peptides derived from tumor antigens can be easily generated in vitro. However, their antigen specificity did not necessarily reflect the lytic capacity towards antigen-expressing tumor cells. "Artificially" high concentrations of peptide presumably cause the expansion of low-avidity T cells which fail to respond to tumor cells with subopti-mal antigen presentation. In contrast, cytotoxic T cells generated with low concentrations of peptide were demonstrated to be superior in peptide as well as in tumor recognition. Optimizing the conditions to expand self-reacting (tumor-specific) T cells in vitro is of relevance for the effectiveness of adoptive therapies.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2003 · Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancers are known to frequently (over)express several well-characterized tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) such as carcinoembryonic antigen, MUC-1, Her-2/neu, and cancer/testis antigens such as NY-ESO-1, SSX-2, and members of the MAGE family. Whereas in melanoma patients, the detection of pre-existing T cell responses to tumor-associated differentiation antigens was a rationale to initiate several vaccination strategies, little is known thus far concerning tumor-specific immunity in breast cancer patients. The objectives of our study were (a) to modify and compare different immunodiagnostic T cell assays with regard to their suitability for clinical applications and (b) to determine endogenous TAA-specific T cell immunity of breast cancer patients at the time point of primary diagnosis. Using MUC-1- and Her-2/neu-derived HLA-A*0201-restricted peptides as model antigens, we analyzed antigen-dependent IFN-gamma release of T cells by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay, intracellular cytokine flow cytometry (CytoSpot), and quantitative real-time PCR. As an assay independent of T cell function, we performed tetramer staining. In our hands, the quantitative real-time PCR method is most sensitive and a feasible screening test to perform an "immunological staging" of cancer patients. By doing this, we detected in 7 of 13 (54%) of HLA-A*0201(+) breast cancer patients a pre-existent specific cellular immune response to at least one of the investigated TAAs (MUC-1, Her-2/neu, carcinoembryonic antigen, NY-ESO-1, and SSX-2). Four of 21 patients (19%) were found to have a significant Her-2/neu-specific T cell response as defined by a stimulation index >/==" BORDER="0"> 2 (range, 10-88). Although the clinical relevance of endogenous TAA-specific immunity remains unclear, our findings suggest that patients with primary breast cancer can mount a T cell immune response to their tumor that might be beneficially enhanced by TAA-dependent vaccination strategies in the adjuvant situation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2003 · Clinical Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: A number of genetic alterations are required for malignant transformation. However, these mutations provide the source for tumor-associated antigens which can be recognized by cellular effectors of the immune system. Recent advances in tumor immunology - such as the improved understanding of antigen presentation as well as T cell activation - have opened new perspectives for cancer immunotherapy. The advantage of using tumor cell based vaccines is that these comprise the complete antigen pool of an individual tumor for activating polyclonal immune responses. However, the induction of antigen-specific immune responses is impaired by the fact that T cell activation is depending on additional nonspecific costimulatory signals provided by the antigen-presenting cell. The majority of solid human tumors does not express costimulatory molecules and is unable to deliver all signals required for T cell activation. In contrast, tumors often induce immunologic tolerance. Therefore, the introduction of genes encoding costimulatory molecules such as CD80 or cytokines is aimed at conferring the immunostimulatory potential of tumor cells. We have undertaken efforts at endowing a breast carcinoma cell line expressing at least seven known tumor associated antigens with immunostimulatory competence by CD80 gene transfer. In preclinical studies this cell line was demonstrated to induce specific immune responses. We designed a phase I/II trial to administer the CD80-modified cell line to patients with metastatic breast cancer to determine the toxicities of the vaccination protocol and nature of the vaccine-induced immune response.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2003 · Zentralblatt für Gynäkologie
  • A. Marme · M. Lindner · S. Stumm · C. Gebhardt · G. Bastert

    No preview · Article · Oct 2002 · Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention
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    ABSTRACT: The interaction of CD40 expressed by immunocompetent cells with its ligand CD154 on the surface of T-helper cells plays a crucial role in the immune response. Recently, the presence of CD40 was also demonstrated on a variety of carcinomas. Whereas the critical relevance of CD40 in cytotoxic T-cell priming via dendritic cells is already established, the biological role of CD40/CD154 interactions in nonhematopoetic cells is still unclear. In the present study we demonstrate that CD154 expression density is down-regulated on activated T cells on interaction with CD40+ tumor cells. Naive T cells cocultured with CD40+carcinoma showed impaired functionality as indicated by a reduced frequency of IFN-gamma secreting cells, reduced interleukin 2 secretion, impaired proliferation, and a lack of CD154 re-expression on restimulation. In distinction, T-cell effector lysing capacity was not impaired by CD40-expressing tumor cell targets. The present results suggest that in marked contrast to antigen-presenting cells, CD40 expression on carcinoma cells suppresses T-cell activation. Our findings support the statement that CD40 functions are context dependent and imply a new function for CD40 expressed on nonantigen-presenting cells.
    Preview · Article · May 2002 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Peptides presented by HLA-A*0201 molecules on the surface of the human breast carcinoma cell line KS24.22 after IFN-gamma induction were analyzed by the "Predict-Calibrate-Detect" approach, which combines epitope prediction and high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. One of the predicted epitopes, MAGE-A1(278-286) (KVLEYVIKV), was found to be presented by HLA-A*0201, with an estimated copy number of 18 molecules/cell. HLA-A*0201 transgenic mice (HHD mice) were used to generate CTL lines that stained positive with an HLA-A*0201 tetramer folded around the KVLEYVIKV peptide and killed peptide-loaded mouse target cells expressing HLA-A*0201. IFN-gamma-treated or -nontreated HLA-A*0201 expressing HeLa cells transiently transfected with a plasmid expressing the MAGE-A1 gene stimulated in vitro cytokine production by the CTL lines. Moreover, IFN-gamma-treated KS24.22 cells, but not IFN-gamma-treated HLA-A*0201(+) MAGE-A1(-) cells or IFN-gamma-treated HLA-A*0201(-) MAGE-A1(+) cells, were killed by these CTLS: Thus, the combination of HLA epitope prediction, peptide analysis, and immunological methods is a powerful approach for the identification of tumor-associated epitopes.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2001 · Cancer Research

Publication Stats

184 Citations
44.43 Total Impact Points


  • 2003-2005
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • • Gynecology and Obstetrics Polyclinic
      • • Institute of Immunology and Serology
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • University of Tuebingen
      • Institute of Criminology
      Tübingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany