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Cancers (Basel). 2019 Dec 1;11(12). pii: E1909. doi: 10.3390/cancers11121909.

A Novel Anti-PD-L1 Vaccine for Cancer Immunotherapy and Immunoprevention.

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Pomona Biotechnology Corp., 605 E Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016, USA.
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1450 Biggy St, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Taipei Medical University Hospital and Department of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan.
Jiyan Biomedical Corp., Taipei 110, Taiwan.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells that play a critical role in activating cellular and humoral immune responses. DC-based tumor vaccines targeting tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) have been extensively tested and demonstrated to be safe and potent in inducing anti-TAA immune responses in cancer patients. Sipuleucel-T (Provenge), a cancer vaccine of autologous DCs loaded with TAA, was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Sipuleucel-T prolongs patient survival, but has little or no effect on clinical disease progression or biomarker kinetics. Due to the overall limited clinical efficacy of tumor vaccines, there is a need to enhance their potency. PD-L1 is a key immune checkpoint molecule and is frequently overexpressed on tumor cells to evade antitumor immune destruction. Repeated administrations of PD-L1 or PD-1 antibodies have induced sustained tumor regression in a fraction of cancer patients. In this study, we tested whether vaccinations with DCs, loaded with a PD-L1 immunogen (PDL1-Vax), are able to induce anti-PD-L1 immune responses. We found that DCs loaded with PDL1-Vax induced anti-PD-L1 antibody and T cell responses in immunized mice and that PD-L1-specific CTLs had cytolytic activities against PD-L1+ tumor cells. We demonstrated that vaccination with PDL1-Vax DCs potently inhibited the growth of PD-L1+ tumor cells. In summary, this study demonstrates for the first time the principle and feasibility of DC vaccination (PDL1-Vax) to actively induce anti-PD-L1 antibody and T cell responses capable of inhibiting PD-L1+ tumor growth. This novel anti-PD-L1 vaccination strategy could be used for cancer treatment and prevention.


PD-L1; dendritic cells; immune checkpoint; immunotherapy; tumor vaccine

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