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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2006 Oct;55(10):1267-79. Epub 2005 Dec 16.

Synthetic double-stranded RNA poly(I:C) as a potent peptide vaccine adjuvant: therapeutic activity against human cervical cancer in a rodent model.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Due to the inherent lack of immunogenicity of peptides, it is generally recognized that the strong inflammatory signals that are required to elicit specific responses against peptide-based therapeutic tumor vaccines may not be provided by the standard/conventional vaccine adjuvants. In this study, we have demonstrated dsRNA in the form of synthetic pI:C as a potent adjuvant to enhance the specific anti-tumor immune responses against a peptide-based vaccine. When complexed with an MHC I-restricted minimal peptide epitope derived from the HPV 16 E7 protein, the resulting pI:C/E7(49-57) molecular complex induced strong E7(49-57)-specific CTL responses that caused significant regressions of model human cervical cancer tumors pre-established in mice. In addition, although the proportion of DCs in tumor-bearing mice was significantly decreased when compared to that in naïve mice, immunization with pI:C/E7(49-57 )restored the proportion of DCs in tumor-bearing mice. Double-stranded RNA may hold a great potential as an adjuvant to induce cellular immune responses for tumor immunotherapy.

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