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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2018 Jan 2;14(1):140-145. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2017.1373921. Epub 2017 Oct 18.

Sequential administration of MVA-based vaccines and PD-1/PD-L1-blocking antibodies confers measurable benefits on tumor growth and survival: Preclinical studies with MVA-βGal and MVA-MUC1 (TG4010) in a murine tumor model.

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a Department of Oncoimmunology , Transgene S.A. , Parc d'Innovation, Illkirch-Graffenstaden , Cedex , France.


TG4010, a Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing human mucin1 (MUC1) has demonstrated clinical benefit for patients suffering from advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with chemotherapy. To support its development, preclinical experiments were performed with either TG4010 or β-galactosidase-encoding MVA vector (MVA-βgal) in mice presenting tumors in the lung. Tumor growth was obtained after intravenous injection of CT26 murine colon cancer cells, engineered to express either MUC1 or βgal. Mice showed increased survival rates after repeated intravenous injections of TG4010 or MVA-βgal, compared to an empty MVA control vector. Treatment with MVA vectors led to the accumulation of CD3dimCD8dim T cells, with two subpopulations characterized as KLRG1+CD127- short-lived effector cells (SLECs), and KLRG1-CD127- early effector cells (EECs) comprising cells releasing IFNγ, Granzyme B and CD107a upon antigen-specific peptide stimulation. EECs were characterized by an up-regulation of PD-1. Tumor growth in the diseased lung correlated with the appearance of PD1+ Treg cells that partially disappeared after TG4010 treatment. At late stage of tumor development in the lung, PD-L1 was detected on CD45- tumor cells, on CD4+ cells, including Treg cells, on CD3+CD8+ and CD3dimCD8dim T lymphocytes, on NK cells, on MDSCs and on alveolar macrophages. We demonstrated that targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway with blocking monoclonal antibodies several days after TG4010 treatment, at late stage of tumor development, enhanced the therapeutic protection induced by the vaccine, supporting the ongoing clinical evaluation of TG4010 immunotherapy in combination with Nivolumab.


Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara; PD-1; PD-L1; TG4010; immune checkpoint blockade; lung cancer

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