An adenoviral cancer vaccine co-encoding a tumor associated antigen together with secreted 4-1BBL leads to delayed tumor progression

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Previous studies have shown promising results when using an agonistic anti-4-1BB antibody treatment against established tumors. While this is promising, this type of treatment can induce severe side effects. Therefore, we decided to incorporate the membrane form of 4-1BB ligand (4-1BBL) in a replicative deficient adenovirus vaccine expressing the invariant chain (Ii) adjuvant fused to a tumor associated antigen (TAA). The Ii adjuvant increases and prolongs TAA specific CD8+ T cells as previously shown and local expression of 4-1BBL was chosen to avoid the toxicity associated with systemic antibody administration. Furthermore, adenovirus encoded 4-1BBL expression has previously been successfully used to enhance responses toward Plasmodium falciparum and Influenza A antigens. We showed that the incorporation of 4-1BBL in the adenovirus vector led to surface expression of 4-1BBL on antigen presenting cells, but it did not enhance T cell responses in mice towards the Ii linked antigen. In tumor-bearing mice, our vaccine was found to decrease the frequency of TAA specific CD8+ T cells, but this difference did not alter the therapeutic efficacy. In order to reconcile our findings with the previous reports of increased anti-cancer efficacy using systemically delivered 4-1BB agonists, we incorporated a secreted version of 4-1BBL (Fc-4-1BBL) in our vaccine and co-expressed it with the Ii linked to TAA. In tumor bearing mice, this vaccine initially delayed tumor growth and slightly increased survival compared to the vaccine expressing the membrane form of 4-1BBL. Accordingly, secreted 4-1BBL co-encoded with the Ii linked antigen may offer a simplification compared to administration of drug and vaccine separately.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)2147-2156
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2016

ID: 159742465