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Cancer Res. 1999 Oct 1;59(19):4964-72.

Potent activity of soluble B7-IgG fusion proteins in therapy of established tumors and as vaccine adjuvant.

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Genetics Institute, Andover, Massachusetts 01810, USA.


Fusion proteins consisting of the extracellular region of murine B7.1 or B7.2 and the Fc portion of murine IgG2a (B7-IgG) were evaluated for their ability to promote antitumor responses. Therapeutic administration of soluble B7-IgG in mice with established tumors induced complete regression of the tumor and increased the survival of mice. In three models, MethA, P815, and MB49, mice with 7-day-old established tumors were cured with two to three treatment cycles of B7-IgG, given twice a week. Even in mice with an established B16/F10 tumor (a poorly immunogenic melanoma), therapeutic treatment with B7-IgG alone slowed tumor growth and increased survival significantly. Still stronger antitumor activity was achieved when B7-IgG was used as a vaccine adjuvant mixed with irradiated tumor cells. In 80% of mice with 7-day-old B16 tumors, tumors regressed completely, and mice survived for at least 80 days. In all tumor models, B7.1-IgG and B7.2-IgG had similar antitumor activity. B7-IgG-mediated tumor rejection was dependent on T cells, specifically CD8 cells, as demonstrated by the failure of B7-IgG to induce tumor regression in severe combined immunodeficient or CD8-depleted mice. In addition, mice that were cured of an established tumor were protected against a rechallenge with the same tumor for at least 4 months, suggesting the generation of memory responses. Surprisingly, the antitumor activity of B7-IgG was independent of IFN-gamma, as demonstrated by tumor rejection in IFN-gamma knockout mice. Our findings demonstrate the potent capacity of B7-IgG to generate or enhance antitumor immune responses and suggest the clinical value of B7-IgG.

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