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Cancer Res. 2001 Dec 15;61(24):8782-6.

alpha-Fetoprotein-specific tumor immunity induced by plasmid prime-adenovirus boost genetic vaccination.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) is a potential target for immunotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma; both the murine and human T-cell repertoires can recognize AFP-derived epitopes in the context of the MHC. Protective immunity can be generated with AFP-engineered dendritic cell-based vaccines. We now report a DNA-based immunization strategy using a prime-boost approach: coadministration of plasmid DNA encoding murine AFP and murine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor followed by boosting with an AFP-expressing nonreplicating adenoviral vector. This immunization strategy can elicit a high frequency of Th1-type AFP-specific cells leading to tumor protective immunity in mice at levels comparable with AFP-engineered dendritic cells. This cell-free mode of immunization is better suited for large-scale vaccine efforts for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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