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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 May 1;10(9):2954-61.

Immunological responses in women with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16)-associated anogenital intraepithelial neoplasia induced by heterologous prime-boost HPV-16 oncogene vaccination.

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Cancer Research UK Immunology Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.



The purpose is to study the immunogenicity of heterologous prime-boost human papillomavirus (HPV) oncogene vaccination in patients with anogenital intraepithelial neoplasia (AGIN).


Twenty-nine women with high-grade AGIN received three i.m. doses of TA-CIN (HPV-16 L2/E6/E7 protein) at four weekly intervals followed by a single dermal scarification of vaccinia HPV-16/18 E6/E7 and were followed up for 12 weeks. Immunity to HPV-16 was assessed by lymphoproliferation, IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT), and ELISA.


The patient group significantly responded to TA-CIN and not to the control antigen HPV-6 L2/E7 at all postvaccination time points when compared with baseline responses (P < or = 0.05). Ten of the patients showed at least a 3-fold increase in TA-CIN-specific proliferation at one or more time points after vaccination. Comparison of stimulation with HPV-16 E6- or E7-GST fusion proteins showed that proliferative responses were biased to HPV-16 E6. This bias was also seen by IFN-gamma ELISPOT using overlapping peptides, with HPV-16 E6- or E7-specific T cells being detected in 9 and 2 patients, respectively. In addition, vaccination resulted in the induction of antibodies against the HPV-16 oncoproteins. Of the 6 clinical responders, 2 patients showed both a proliferative TA-CIN-specific response and an E6-specific IFN-gamma response, whereas 3 other patients displayed E6-specific reactivity only. Stable disease was recorded in 19 patients, 8 of whom showed a concomitant TA-CIN-specific proliferative and/or E6-specific T-cell response. Of the 4 progressors, 2 failed to make a T-cell response and 2 responded by either proliferation or E6 ELISPOT alone.


The prime-boost regimen is immunogenic in AGIN patients (humoral and cellular immunity), but there is no simple relationship between induction of systemic HPV-16-specific immunity and clinical outcome. Other factors that may play a role in the eradication of long-term established AGIN lesions need to be determined to identify the patient group that would benefit from immunotherapy with the vaccines used in this study.

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