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Cancer Biol Ther. 2007 Nov;6(11):1773-9. Epub 2007 Aug 12.

Redirecting adaptive immunity against foreign antigens to tumors for cancer therapy.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Immunotherapy for cancer is often limited by weak immunogenicity of tumor antigens. However, immune systems are usually strong and effective against foreign invading antigens. To test whether the destructive effect of adaptive immunity against foreign antigens can be redirected to tumors for cancer therapy, we immunized mice with adenovector expressing LacZ (Ad/CMV-LacZ). Subcutaneous syngeneic tumors were then established in the immunized animals or in naïve animals. The immune response against adenovirus or LacZ was redirected to tumors by intratumoral injection of Ad/CMV-LacZ. We found that immunization and treatment with the adenovector dramatically reduced the tumor growth rate compared with intratumoral administration of adenovector in naïve mice. Complete tumor regression was observed in about 50% of the immunized animals but not in the naïve animals. Similar effects were observed when oncolytic vaccinia virus was used to immunize and treat tumors. Lymphocyte infiltration in tumors was dramatically increased in the immunized group when compared with other groups. Moreover, immunity against parental tumor cells was induced in the animals cured with immunization and treatment with Ad/CMV-LacZ, as evidenced by the lack of tumor growth when the mice were challenged with parental tumor cells. Taken together, these results suggest that redirecting adaptive immunity against foreign antigens is a potential approach for anticancer therapy and that pre-existing immunity could enhance virotherapy against cancers.

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