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Cancer Sci. 2004 Feb;95(2):160-7.

Potent antitumor effect elicited by superantigen-linked tumor cells transduced with heat shock protein 70 gene.

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Institute of Immunology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, P. R. China.


Heat shock proteins (HSP) induce antitumor-specific immunity via a unique mechanism, but HSP alone fails to produce a satisfactory antitumor efficacy. We considered that the potent immune-activation of superantigen (SAg) might assist HSP to elicit a strong tumor-antigen-specific immunity. We initially prepared B16 melanoma cells linked to SAg SEA via a fusion protein with a transmembrane sequence (TM), and demonstrated that SEA thus anchored on the tumor cell surface could elicit strong antitumor immunity. We then prepared cells transduced with an inducible heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) gene, and bearing SEA-TM fusion protein on the cell surface, and used these cells as a dual-modified vaccine. In this study, either in a therapeutic setting or in a pre-immune model, the SEA-anchored vaccine or the HSP70 gene-modified vaccine induced marked tumor suppression, prolonged survival, augmented lymphocyte proliferation and higher NK and CTL activity in C57BL/6 mice compared with their controls (P < 0.01), though they were less effective than the dual-modified vaccine. Among these vaccines, the dual-modified vaccine showed the best therapeutic efficacy in B16 melanoma-bearing mice and gave the greatest protection against wild-type B16 melanoma challenge. The results indicated that the dual-modified vaccine could induce a potent tumor-antigen-specific immune response in addition to an increase of non-specific immunity. This study offers a novel approach to bridging specific and non-specific immunity for cancer therapy.

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