Open AccessReview
Synthetic Biodegradable Microparticle and Nanoparticle Vaccines against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 45; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040045 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Synthetic biodegradable microparticle and nanoparticle platform technology provides the opportunity to design particles varying in composition, size, shape and surface properties for application in vaccine development. The use of particle vaccine formulations allows improvement of antigen stability and immunogenicity while allowing targeted delivery
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Synthetic biodegradable microparticle and nanoparticle platform technology provides the opportunity to design particles varying in composition, size, shape and surface properties for application in vaccine development. The use of particle vaccine formulations allows improvement of antigen stability and immunogenicity while allowing targeted delivery and slow release. This technology has been design to develop novel vaccines against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants. In the last decade, several nano- and micro-sized RSV vaccine candidates have been developed and tested in animal models showing promising results. This review provides an overview of recent advances in prophylactic particle vaccines for RSV and the multiple factors that can affect vaccine efficacy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Homologous Prime-Boost Vaccination with OVA Entrapped in Self-Adjuvanting Archaeosomes Induces High Numbers of OVA-Specific CD8+ T Cells that Protect Against Subcutaneous B16-OVA Melanoma
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 44; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040044 -
Abstract
Homologous prime-boost vaccinations with live vectors typically fail to induce repeated strong CD8+ T cell responses due to the induction of anti-vector immunity, highlighting the need for alternative delivery vehicles. The unique ether lipids of archaea may be constituted into liposomes, archaeosomes,
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Homologous prime-boost vaccinations with live vectors typically fail to induce repeated strong CD8+ T cell responses due to the induction of anti-vector immunity, highlighting the need for alternative delivery vehicles. The unique ether lipids of archaea may be constituted into liposomes, archaeosomes, which do not induce anti-carrier responses, making them an ideal candidate for use in repeat vaccination systems. Herein, we evaluated in mice the maximum threshold of antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses that may be induced by multiple homologous immunizations with ovalbumin (OVA) entrapped in archaeosomes derived from the ether glycerolipids of the archaeon Methanobrevibacter smithii (MS-OVA). Up to three immunizations with MS-OVA administered in optimized intervals (to allow for sufficient resting of the primed cells prior to boosting), induced a potent anti-OVA CD8+ T cell response of up to 45% of all circulating CD8+ T cells. Additional MS-OVA injections did not add any further benefit in increasing the memory of CD8+ T cell frequency. In contrast, OVA expressed by Listeria monocytogenes (LM-OVA), an intracellular bacterial vector failed to evoke a boosting effect after the second injection, resulting in significantly reduced antigen-specific CD8+ T cell frequencies. Furthermore, repeated vaccination with MS-OVA skewed the response increasingly towards an effector memory (CD62low) phenotype. Vaccinated animals were challenged with B16-OVA at late time points after vaccination (+7 months) and were afforded protection compared to control. Therefore, archaeosomes constituted a robust particulate delivery system to unravel the kinetics of CD8+ T cell response induction and memory maintenance and constitute an efficient vaccination regimen optimized for tumor protection. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Impact of Chemotherapy, Radiation and Epigenetic Modifiers in Cancer Cell Expression of Immune Inhibitory and Stimulatory Molecules and Anti-Tumor Efficacy
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 43; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040043 -
Abstract
Genomic destabilizers, such as radiation and chemotherapy, and epigenetic modifiers are used for the treatment of cancer due to their apoptotic effects on the aberrant cells. However, these therapies may also induce widespread changes within the immune system and cancer cells, which may
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Genomic destabilizers, such as radiation and chemotherapy, and epigenetic modifiers are used for the treatment of cancer due to their apoptotic effects on the aberrant cells. However, these therapies may also induce widespread changes within the immune system and cancer cells, which may enable tumors to avoid immune surveillance and escape from host anti-tumor immunity. Genomic destabilizers can induce immunogenic death of tumor cells, but also induce upregulation of immune inhibitory ligands on drug-resistant cells, resulting in tumor progression. While administration of immunomodulatory antibodies that block the interactions between inhibitory receptors on immune cells and their ligands on tumor cells can mediate cancer regression in a subset of treated patients, it is crucial to understand how genomic destabilizers alter the immune system and malignant cells, including which inhibitory molecules, receptors and/or ligands are upregulated in response to genotoxic stress. Knowledge gained in this area will aid in the rational design of trials that combine genomic destabilizers, epigenetic modifiers and immunotherapeutic agents that may be synergized to improve clinical responses and prevent tumor escape from the immune system. Our review article describes the impact genomic destabilizers, such as radiation and chemotherapy, and epigenetic modifiers have on anti-tumor immunity and the tumor microenvironment. Although genomic destabilizers cause DNA damage on cancer cells, these therapies can also have diverse effects on the immune system, promote immunogenic cell death or survival and alter the cancer cell expression of immune inhibitor molecules. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The CD8+ T Cell-Mediated Immunity Induced by HPV-E6 Uploaded in Engineered Exosomes Is Improved by ISCOMATRIXTM Adjuvant
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 42; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040042 -
Abstract
We recently described the induction of an efficient CD8+ T cell-mediated immune response against a tumor-associated antigen (TAA) uploaded in engineered exosomes used as an immunogen delivery tool. This immune response cleared tumor cells inoculated after immunization, and controlled the growth of
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We recently described the induction of an efficient CD8+ T cell-mediated immune response against a tumor-associated antigen (TAA) uploaded in engineered exosomes used as an immunogen delivery tool. This immune response cleared tumor cells inoculated after immunization, and controlled the growth of tumors implanted before immunization. We looked for new protocols aimed at increasing the CD8+ T cell specific response to the antigen uploaded in engineered exosomes, assuming that an optimized CD8+ T cell immune response would correlate with a more effective depletion of tumor cells in the therapeutic setting. By considering HPV-E6 as a model of TAA, we found that the in vitro co-administration of engineered exosomes and ISCOMATRIXTM adjuvant, i.e., an adjuvant composed of purified ISCOPREPTM saponin, cholesterol, and phospholipids, led to a stronger antigen cross-presentation in both B- lymphoblastoid cell lines ( and monocyte-derived immature dendritic cells compared with that induced by the exosomes alone. Consistently, the co-inoculation in mice of ISCOMATRIXTM adjuvant and engineered exosomes induced a significant increase of TAA-specific CD8+ T cells compared to mice immunized with the exosomes alone. This result holds promise for effective usage of exosomes as well as alternative nanovesicles in anti-tumor therapeutic approaches. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Can Regulate the Immune Response in the Tumor Microenvironment
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 41; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040041 -
Abstract
The tumor microenvironment is a good target for therapy in solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Indeed, solid tumor cells’ growth and expansion can influence neighboring cells’ behavior, leading to a modulation of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) activities and remodeling of extracellular matrix components.
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The tumor microenvironment is a good target for therapy in solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Indeed, solid tumor cells’ growth and expansion can influence neighboring cells’ behavior, leading to a modulation of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) activities and remodeling of extracellular matrix components. This leads to an altered microenvironment, where reparative mechanisms, in the presence of sub-acute inflammation, are not able to reconstitute healthy tissue. Carcinoma cells can undergo epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key step to generate metastasis; these mesenchymal-like cells display the functional behavior of MSC. Furthermore, MSC can support the survival and growth of leukemic cells within bone marrow participating in the leukemic cell niche. Notably, MSC can inhibit the anti-tumor immune response through either carcinoma-associated fibroblasts or bone marrow stromal cells. Experimental data have indicated their relevance in regulating cytolytic effector lymphocytes of the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. Herein, we will discuss some of the evidence in hematological malignancies and solid tumors. In particular, we will focus our attention on the means by which it is conceivable to inhibit MSC-mediated immune suppression and trigger anti-tumor innate immunity. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Replicon RNA Viral Vectors as Vaccines
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 39; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040039 -
Abstract
Single-stranded RNA viruses of both positive and negative polarity have been used as vectors for vaccine development. In this context, alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles virus and rhabdoviruses have been engineered for expression of surface protein genes and antigens. Administration of replicon RNA vectors has
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Single-stranded RNA viruses of both positive and negative polarity have been used as vectors for vaccine development. In this context, alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles virus and rhabdoviruses have been engineered for expression of surface protein genes and antigens. Administration of replicon RNA vectors has resulted in strong immune responses and generation of neutralizing antibodies in various animal models. Immunization of mice, chicken, pigs and primates with virus-like particles, naked RNA or layered DNA/RNA plasmids has provided protection against challenges with lethal doses of infectious agents and administered tumor cells. Both prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy has been achieved in cancer immunotherapy. Moreover, recombinant particles and replicon RNAs have been encapsulated by liposomes to improve delivery and targeting. Replicon RNA vectors have also been subjected to clinical trials. Overall, immunization with self-replicating RNA viruses provides high transient expression levels of antigens resulting in generation of neutralizing antibody responses and protection against lethal challenges under safe conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Edwardsiella tarda OmpA Encapsulated in Chitosan Nanoparticles Shows Superior Protection over Inactivated Whole Cell Vaccine in Orally Vaccinated Fringed-Lipped Peninsula Carp (Labeo fimbriatus)
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 40; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040040 -
Abstract
The use of oral vaccination in finfish has lagged behind injectable vaccines for a long time as oral vaccines fall short of injection vaccines in conferring protective immunity. Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) have shown potential to serve as antigen delivery systems for oral
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The use of oral vaccination in finfish has lagged behind injectable vaccines for a long time as oral vaccines fall short of injection vaccines in conferring protective immunity. Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) have shown potential to serve as antigen delivery systems for oral vaccines. In this study the recombinant outer membrane protein A (rOmpA) of Edwardsiella tarda was encapsulated in chitosan NPs (NP-rOmpA) and used for oral vaccination of Labeo fimbriatus. The rOmpA purity was 85%, nanodiameter <500 nm, encapsulation efficiency 60.6%, zeta potential +19.05 mV, and there was an in vitro release of 49% of encapsulated antigen within 48 h post incubation in phosphate-buffered saline. Empty NPs and a non-formulated, inactivated whole cell E. tarda (IWC-ET) vaccine were used as controls. Post-vaccination antibody levels were significantly (p = 0.0458) higher in the NP-rOmpA vaccinated fish (Mean OD450 = 2.430) than in fish vaccinated with inactivated whole cell E. tarda (IWC-ET) vaccine (Mean OD450 = 1.735), which corresponded with post-challenge survival proportions (PCSP) of 73.3% and 48.28% for the NP-rOmpA and IWC-ET groups, respectively. Serum samples from NP-rOmpA-vaccinated fish had a higher inhibition rate for E. tarda growth on tryptic soy agar (TSA) than the IWC-ET group. There was no significant difference (p = 0.989) in PCSPs between fish vaccinated with empty NPs and the unvaccinated control fish, while serum from both groups showed no detectable antibodies against E. tarda. Overall, these data show that the NP-rOmpA vaccine produced higher antibody levels and had superior protection over the IWC-ET vaccine, showing that encapsulating OmpA in chitosan NPs confer improved protection against E. tarda mortality in L. fimbriatus. There is a need to elucidate the possible adjuvant effects of chitosan NPs and the immunological mechanisms of protective immunity induced by OMPs administered orally to fish. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Targeting Immune Regulatory Networks to Counteract Immune Suppression in Cancer
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 38; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040038 -
Abstract
The onset of cancer is unavoidably accompanied by suppression of antitumor immunity. This occurs through mechanisms ranging from the progressive accumulation of regulatory immune cells associated with chronic immune stimulation and inflammation, to the expression of immunosuppressive molecules. Some of them are being
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The onset of cancer is unavoidably accompanied by suppression of antitumor immunity. This occurs through mechanisms ranging from the progressive accumulation of regulatory immune cells associated with chronic immune stimulation and inflammation, to the expression of immunosuppressive molecules. Some of them are being successfully exploited as therapeutic targets, with impressive clinical results achieved in patients, as in the case of immune checkpoint inhibitors. To limit immune attack, tumor cells exploit specific pathways to render the tumor microenvironment hostile for antitumor effector cells. Local acidification might, in fact, anergize activated T cells and facilitate the accumulation of immune suppressive cells. Moreover, the release of extracellular vesicles by tumor cells can condition distant immune sites contributing to the onset of systemic immune suppression. Understanding which mechanisms may be prevalent in specific cancers or disease stages, and identifying possible strategies to counterbalance would majorly contribute to improving clinical efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. Here, we intend to highlight these mechanisms, how they could be targeted and the tools that might be available in the near future to achieve this goal. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC) in Cancer Progression
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 36; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040036 -
Abstract
The immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment represents not only one of the key factors stimulating tumor progression but also a strong obstacle for efficient tumor immunotherapy. Immunosuppression was found to be associated with chronic inflammatory mediators including cytokines, chemokines and growth factors produced by cancer
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The immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment represents not only one of the key factors stimulating tumor progression but also a strong obstacle for efficient tumor immunotherapy. Immunosuppression was found to be associated with chronic inflammatory mediators including cytokines, chemokines and growth factors produced by cancer and stroma cells. Long-term intensive production of these factors induces the formation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) representing one of the most important players mediating immunosuppression. Moreover, MDSCs could not only inhibit anti-tumor immune reactions but also directly stimulate tumor growth and metastasis. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of their generation, expansion, recruitment and activation is required for the development of novel strategies for tumor immunotherapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Is There Still Room for Cancer Vaccines at the Era of Checkpoint Inhibitors
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 37; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040037 -
Abstract
Checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) blockade is considered to be a revolution in cancer therapy, although most patients (70%–80%) remain resistant to this therapy. It has been hypothesized that only tumors with high mutation rates generate a natural antitumor T cell response, which could be
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Checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) blockade is considered to be a revolution in cancer therapy, although most patients (70%–80%) remain resistant to this therapy. It has been hypothesized that only tumors with high mutation rates generate a natural antitumor T cell response, which could be revigorated by this therapy. In patients with no pre-existing antitumor T cells, a vaccine-induced T cell response is a rational option to counteract clinical resistance. This hypothesis has been validated in preclinical models using various cancer vaccines combined with inhibitory pathway blockade (PD-1-PDL1-2, CTLA-4-CD80-CD86). Enhanced T cell infiltration of various tumors has been demonstrated following this combination therapy. The timing of this combination appears to be critical to the success of this therapy and multiple combinations of immunomodulating antibodies (CPI antagonists or costimulatory pathway agonists) have reinforced the synergy with cancer vaccines. Only limited results are available in humans and this combined approach has yet to be validated. Comprehensive monitoring of the regulation of CPI and costimulatory molecules after administration of immunomodulatory antibodies (anti-PD1/PD-L1, anti-CTLA-4, anti-OX40, etc.) and cancer vaccines should help to guide the selection of the best combination and timing of this therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Tumor-Derived Exosomes and Their Role in Tumor-Induced Immune Suppression
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 35; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040035 -
Abstract
Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) are emerging as critical components of an intercellular information network between the tumor and the host. The tumor escapes from the host immune system by using a variety of mechanisms designed to impair or eliminate anti-tumor immunity. TEX carrying a
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Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) are emerging as critical components of an intercellular information network between the tumor and the host. The tumor escapes from the host immune system by using a variety of mechanisms designed to impair or eliminate anti-tumor immunity. TEX carrying a cargo of immunoinhibitory molecules and factors represent one such mechanism. TEX, which are present in all body fluids of cancer patients, deliver negative molecular or genetic signals to immune cells re-programming their functions. Although TEX can also stimulate immune activity, in the microenvironments dominated by the tumor, TEX tend to mediate immune suppression thus promoting tumor progression. The TEX content, in part resembling that of the parent cell, may serve as a source of cancer biomarkers. TEX also interfere with immune therapies. A better understanding of TEX and their contribution to cancer progression and cancer patients’ response to immune therapies represents a challenging new field of investigation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Influenza and Memory T Cells: How to Awake the Force
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 33; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040033 -
Abstract
Annual influenza vaccination is an effective way to prevent human influenza. Current vaccines are mainly focused on eliciting a strain-matched humoral immune response, requiring yearly updates, and do not provide protection for all vaccinated individuals. The past few years, the importance of cellular
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Annual influenza vaccination is an effective way to prevent human influenza. Current vaccines are mainly focused on eliciting a strain-matched humoral immune response, requiring yearly updates, and do not provide protection for all vaccinated individuals. The past few years, the importance of cellular immunity, and especially memory T cells, in long-lived protection against influenza virus has become clear. To overcome the shortcomings of current influenza vaccines, eliciting both humoral and cellular immunity is imperative. Today, several new vaccines such as infection-permissive and recombinant T cell inducing vaccines, are being developed and show promising results. These vaccines will allow us to stay several steps ahead of the constantly evolving influenza virus. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Biodegradable Polymeric Nanoparticles-Based Vaccine Adjuvants for Lymph Nodes Targeting
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 34; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040034 -
Abstract
Vaccines have successfully eradicated a large number of diseases. However, some infectious diseases (such as HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis or Bacillus anthracis) keep spreading since there is no vaccine to prevent them. One way to overcome this issue is the development of new
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Vaccines have successfully eradicated a large number of diseases. However, some infectious diseases (such as HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis or Bacillus anthracis) keep spreading since there is no vaccine to prevent them. One way to overcome this issue is the development of new adjuvant formulations which are able to induce the appropriate immune response without sacrificing safety. Lymph nodes are the site of lymphocyte priming by antigen-presenting cells and subsequent adaptive immune response, and are a promising target for vaccine formulations. In this review, we describe the properties of different polymer-based (e.g., poly lactic-co-glycolic acid, poly lactic acid …) particulate adjuvants as innovative systems, capable of co-delivering immunopotentiators and antigens. We point out how these nanoparticles enhance the delivery of antigens, and how their physicochemical properties modify their uptake by antigen-presenting cells and their migration into lymph nodes. We describe why polymeric nanoparticles increase the persistence into lymph nodes and promote a mature immune response. We also emphasize how nanodelivery directs the response to a specific antigen and allows the induction of a cytotoxic immune response, essential for the fight against intracellular pathogens or cancer. Finally, we highlight the interest of the association between polymer-based vaccines and immunopotentiators, which can potentiate the effect of the molecule by directing it to the appropriate compartment and reducing its toxicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ag85A DNA Vaccine Delivery by Nanoparticles: Influence of the Formulation Characteristics on Immune Responses
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 32; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030032 -
Abstract
The influence of DNA vaccine formulations on immune responses in combination with adjuvants was investigated with the aim to increase cell-mediated immunity against plasmid DNA (pDNA) encoding Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen 85A. Different ratios of pDNA with cationic trimethyl chitosan (TMC) nanoparticles were characterized
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The influence of DNA vaccine formulations on immune responses in combination with adjuvants was investigated with the aim to increase cell-mediated immunity against plasmid DNA (pDNA) encoding Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen 85A. Different ratios of pDNA with cationic trimethyl chitosan (TMC) nanoparticles were characterized for their morphology and physicochemical characteristics (size, zeta potential, loading efficiency and pDNA release profile) applied in vitro for cellular uptake studies and in vivo, to determine the dose-dependent effects of pDNA on immune responses. A selected pDNA/TMC nanoparticle formulation was optimized by the incorporation of muramyl dipeptide (MDP) as an immunostimulatory agent. Cellular uptake investigations in vitro showed saturation to a maximum level upon the increase in the pDNA/TMC nanoparticle ratio, correlating with increasing Th1-related antibody responses up to a definite pDNA dose applied. Moreover, TMC nanoparticles induced clear polarization towards a Th1 response, indicated by IgG2c/IgG1 ratios above unity and enhanced numbers of antigen-specific IFN-γ producing T-cells in the spleen. Remarkably, the incorporation of MDP in TMC nanoparticles provoked a significant additional increase in T-cell-mediated responses induced by pDNA. In conclusion, pDNA-loaded TMC nanoparticles are capable of provoking strong Th1-type cellular and humoral immune responses, with the potential to be further optimized by the incorporation of MDP. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Neutrophils and Granulocytic MDSC: The Janus God of Cancer Immunotherapy
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 31; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030031 -
Abstract
Neutrophils are the most abundant circulating blood cell type in humans, and are the first white blood cells recruited at the inflammation site where they orchestrate the initial immune response. Although their presence at the tumor site was recognized in the 1970s, until
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Neutrophils are the most abundant circulating blood cell type in humans, and are the first white blood cells recruited at the inflammation site where they orchestrate the initial immune response. Although their presence at the tumor site was recognized in the 1970s, until recently these cells have been neglected and considered to play just a neutral role in tumor progression. Indeed, in recent years neutrophils have been recognized to play a dual role in tumor development by either assisting the growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis or by exerting tumoricidal action directly via the secretion of antitumoral compounds, or indirectly via the orchestration of antitumor immunity. Understanding the biology of these cells and influencing their polarization in the tumor micro- and macro-environment may be the key for the development of new therapeutic strategies, which may finally hold the promise of an effective immunotherapy for cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
T-Regulatory Cells and Vaccination “Pay Attention and Do Not Neglect Them”: Lessons from HIV and Cancer Vaccine Trials
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 30; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030030 -
Abstract
Efficient vaccines are characterized by the establishment of long-lived memory T cells, including T-helper (effectors and follicular) and T-regulatory cells (Tregs). While the former induces cytotoxic or antibody responses, the latter regulates immune responses by maintaining homeostasis. The role of Tregs in inflammatory
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Efficient vaccines are characterized by the establishment of long-lived memory T cells, including T-helper (effectors and follicular) and T-regulatory cells (Tregs). While the former induces cytotoxic or antibody responses, the latter regulates immune responses by maintaining homeostasis. The role of Tregs in inflammatory conditions is ambiguous and their systematic monitoring in vaccination along with effector T-cells is not instinctive. Recent studies from the cancer field clearly showed that Tregs suppress vaccine-induced immune responses and correlate with poor clinical benefit. In HIV infection, Tregs are needed during acute infection to preserve tissue integrity from an overwhelmed activation, but are not beneficial in chronic infection as they suppress anti-HIV responses. Current assays used to evaluate vaccine-induced specific responses are limited as they do not take into account antigen-specific Tregs. However, new assays, such as the OX40 assay, which allow for the simultaneous detection of a full range of Th-responses including antigen-specific Tregs responses, can overcome these issues. In this review article we will revise the role of Tregs in vaccination and review the recent work performed in the field, including the available tools to monitor them, from novel assays to humanized mouse models. Full article
Open AccessReview
Monitoring of the Immune Dysfunction in Cancer Patients
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 29; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030029 -
Abstract
Immunotherapy shows promising clinical results in patients with different types of cancer, but its full potential is not reached due to immune dysfunction as a result of several suppressive mechanisms that play a role in cancer development and progression. Monitoring of immune dysfunction
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Immunotherapy shows promising clinical results in patients with different types of cancer, but its full potential is not reached due to immune dysfunction as a result of several suppressive mechanisms that play a role in cancer development and progression. Monitoring of immune dysfunction is a prerequisite for the development of strategies aiming to alleviate cancer-induced immune suppression. At this point, the level at which immune dysfunction occurs has to be established, the underlying mechanism(s) need to be known, as well as the techniques to assess this. While it is relatively easy to measure general signs of immune suppression, it turns out that accurate monitoring of the frequency and function of immune-suppressive cells is still difficult. A lack of truly specific markers, the phenotypic complexity among suppressive cells of the same lineage, but potentially with different functions and functional assays that may not cover every mechanistic aspect of immune suppression are among the reasons complicating proper assessments. Technical innovations in flow and mass cytometry will allow for more complete sets of markers to precisely determine phenotype and associated function. There is, however, a clear need for functional assays that recapitulate more of the mechanisms employed to suppress the immune system. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Regulatory T Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Progression: Role and Therapeutic Targeting
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 28; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030028 -
Abstract
Recent years have seen significant efforts in understanding and modulating the immune response in cancer. In this context, immunosuppressive cells, including regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), have come under intense investigation for their proposed roles in suppressing tumor-specific immune
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Recent years have seen significant efforts in understanding and modulating the immune response in cancer. In this context, immunosuppressive cells, including regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), have come under intense investigation for their proposed roles in suppressing tumor-specific immune responses and establishing an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, thus enabling tumor immune evasion. Additionally, recent evidence indicates that Tregs comprise diverse and heterogeneous subsets; phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets of tumor-infiltrating Tregs could contribute differently to cancer prognosis and clinical outcomes. Understanding Treg biology in the setting of cancer, and specifically the tumor microenvironment, is important for designing effective cancer therapies. In this review, we critically examine the role of Tregs in the tumor microenvironment and in cancer progression focusing on human studies. We also discuss the impact of current therapeutic modalities on Treg biology and the therapeutic opportunities for targeting Tregs to enhance anti-tumor immune responses and clinical benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly-Immunogenic Virally-Vectored T-cell Vaccines Cannot Overcome Subversion of the T-cell Response by HCV during Chronic Infection
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 27; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030027 -
Abstract
An effective therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, as an adjunct to newly developed directly-acting antivirals (DAA), or for the prevention of reinfection, would significantly reduce the global burden of disease associated with chronic HCV infection. A
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An effective therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, as an adjunct to newly developed directly-acting antivirals (DAA), or for the prevention of reinfection, would significantly reduce the global burden of disease associated with chronic HCV infection. A recombinant chimpanzee adenoviral (ChAd3) vector and a modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), encoding the non-structural proteins of HCV (NSmut), used in a heterologous prime/boost regimen induced multi-specific, high-magnitude, durable HCV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses in healthy volunteers, and was more immunogenic than a heterologous Ad regimen. We now assess the immunogenicity of this vaccine regimen in HCV infected patients (including patients with a low viral load suppressed with interferon/ribavirin therapy), determine T-cell cross-reactivity to endogenous virus, and compare immunogenicity with that observed previously in both healthy volunteers and in HCV infected patients vaccinated with the heterologous Ad regimen. Vaccination of HCV infected patients with ChAd3-NSmut/MVA-NSmut was well tolerated. Vaccine-induced HCV-specific T-cell responses were detected in 8/12 patients; however, CD4+ T-cell responses were rarely detected, and the overall magnitude of HCV-specific T-cell responses was markedly reduced when compared to vaccinated healthy volunteers. Furthermore, HCV-specific cells had a distinct partially-functional phenotype (lower expression of activation markers, granzyme B, and TNFα production, weaker in vitro proliferation, and higher Tim3 expression, with comparable Tbet and Eomes expression) compared to healthy volunteers. Robust anti-vector T-cells and antibodies were induced, showing that there is no global defect in immunity. The level of viremia at the time of vaccination did not correlate with the magnitude of the vaccine-induced T-cell response. Full-length, next-generation sequencing of the circulating virus demonstrated that T-cells were only induced by vaccination when there was a sequence mismatch between the autologous virus and the vaccine immunogen. However, these T-cells were not cross-reactive with the endogenous viral variant epitopes. Conversely, when there was complete homology between the immunogen and circulating virus at a given epitope T-cells were not induced. T-cell induction following vaccination had no significant impact on HCV viral load. In vitro T-cell culture experiments identified the presence of T-cells at baseline that could be expanded by vaccination; thus, HCV-specific T-cells may have been expanded from pre-existing low-level memory T-cell populations that had been exposed to HCV antigens during natural infection, explaining the partial T-cell dysfunction. In conclusion, vaccination with ChAd3-NSmut and MVA-NSmut prime/boost, a potent vaccine regimen previously optimized in healthy volunteers was unable to reconstitute HCV-specific T-cell immunity in HCV infected patients. This highlights the major challenge of overcoming T-cell exhaustion in the context of persistent antigen exposure. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Immunological Evaluation of Recent MUC1 Glycopeptide Cancer Vaccines
Vaccines 2016, 4(3), 25; doi:10.3390/vaccines4030025 -
Abstract
Aberrantly glycosylated mucin 1 (MUC1) is a recognized tumor-specific antigen on epithelial cell tumors. A wide variety of MUC1 glycopeptide anti-cancer vaccines have been formulated by many research groups. Some researchers have used MUC1 alone as an immunogen whereas other groups used different
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Aberrantly glycosylated mucin 1 (MUC1) is a recognized tumor-specific antigen on epithelial cell tumors. A wide variety of MUC1 glycopeptide anti-cancer vaccines have been formulated by many research groups. Some researchers have used MUC1 alone as an immunogen whereas other groups used different antigenic carrier proteins such as bovine serum albumin or keyhole limpet hemocyanin for conjugation with MUC1 glycopeptide. A variety of adjuvants have been used with MUC1 glycopeptides to improve their immunogenicity. Fully synthetic multicomponent vaccines have been synthesized by incorporating different T helper cell epitopes and Toll-like receptor agonists. Some vaccine formulations utilized liposomes or nanoparticles as vaccine delivery systems. In this review, we discuss the immunological evaluation of different conjugate or synthetic MUC1 glycopeptide vaccines in different tumor or mouse models that have been published since 2012. Full article
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