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Blood. 2008 Mar 15;111(6):3116-25. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-09-114371. Epub 2008 Jan 17.

Enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity of multifactorial adjuvants compared with unitary adjuvants as cancer vaccines.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


Identification of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their ligands, and tumor necrosis factor-tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-TNFR) pairs have provided the first logical, hypothesis-based strategies to molecularly concoct adjuvants to elicit potent cell-mediated immunity via activation of innate and adaptive immunity. However, isolated activation of one immune pathway in the absence of others can be toxic, ineffective, and detrimental to long-term, protective immunity. Effective engineered vaccines must include agents that trigger multiple immunologic pathways. Here, we report that combinatorial use of CD40 and TLR agonists as a cancer vaccine, compared with monotherapy, elicits high frequencies of self-reactive CD8(+) T cells, potent tumor-specific CD8(+) memory, CD8(+) T cells that efficiently infiltrate the tumor-burdened target organ; therapeutic efficacy; heightened ratios of CD8(+) T cells to FoxP3(+) cells at the tumor site; and reduced hepatotoxicity. These findings provide intelligent strategies for the formulation of multifactorial vaccines to achieve maximal efficacy in cancer vaccine trials in humans.

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