Abstract: Vaccination has proven to be an invaluable means of preventing infectious diseases by reducing both incidence of disease and mortality. However, vaccines have not been effectively developed for many diseases including HIV-1, hepatitis C virus (HCV), tuberculosis and malaria, among others. The emergence of new technologies with a growing understanding of host-pathogen interactions and immunity may lead to efficacious vaccines against pathogens, previously thought impossible.
Abstract: Antibodies to immune checkpoints have entered the clinical arena and have been shown to provide a clinical benefit for metastatic melanoma and, possibly, for other tumors as well. In this review paper we summarize this therapeutic activity and underline the functional mechanisms that may be involved. Among them, we discuss the so far neglected role of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) deriving from tumor somatic mutations and summarize the results of recent trials showing the immunogenic strength of such TAAs which can be specifically targeted by T cells activated by immune checkpoint antibodies. Finally we discuss new immunotherapy approaches that involve the combination of self/shared- or neo-TAAs-based vaccines and immune checkpoint blockade antibodies, to increase the clinical response of metastatic melanoma patients.
Abstract: Developing countries disproportionately suffer from the burden of cervical cancer yet lack the resources to establish systematic screening programs that have resulted in significant reductions in morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination provides an opportunity for primary prevention of cervical cancer in low-resource settings through vaccine provision by Gavi The Vaccine Alliance. In addition to the traditional national introduction, countries can apply for a demonstration program to help them make informed decisions for subsequent national introduction. This article summarizes information from approved Gavi HPV demonstration program proposals and preliminary implementation findings. After two rounds of applications, 23 countries have been approved targeting approximately 400,000 girls for vaccination. All countries are proposing primarily school-based strategies with mixed strategies to locate and vaccinate girls not enrolled in school. Experiences to date include: Reaching marginalized girls has been challenging; Strong coordination with the education sector is key and overall acceptance has been high. Initial coverage reports are encouraging but will have to be confirmed in population based coverage surveys that will take place later this year. Experiences from these countries are consistent with existing literature describing other HPV vaccine pilots in low-income settings.
Abstract: Adjuvants improve host responsiveness to co-delivered vaccines through a variety of mechanisms. Agents that trigger cells expressing Toll-like receptors (TLR) activate an innate immune response that enhances the induction of vaccine-specific immunity. When administered in combination with vaccines designed to prevent or slow tumor growth, TLR agonists have significantly improved the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Unfortunately, vaccines containing TLR agonists have rarely been able to eliminate large established tumors when administered systemically. To improve efficacy, attention has focused on delivering TLR agonists intra-tumorally with the intent of altering the tumor microenvironment. Agonists targeting TLRs 7/8 or 9 can reduce the frequency of Tregs while causing immunosuppressive MDSC in the tumor bed to differentiate into tumoricidal macrophages thereby enhancing tumor elimination. This work reviews pre-clinical and clinical studies concerning the utility of TLR 7/8/9 agonists as adjuvants for tumor vaccines.
Abstract: Influenza is a major respiratory pathogen causing annual outbreaks and occasional pandemics. Influenza vaccination is the major method of prophylaxis. Currently annual influenza vaccination is recommended for groups at high risk of complications from influenza infection such as pregnant women, young children, people with underlying disease and the elderly, along with occupational groups such a healthcare workers and farm workers. There are two main types of vaccines available: the parenteral inactivated influenza vaccine and the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine. The inactivated vaccines are licensed from 6 months of age and have been used for more than 50 years with a good safety profile. Inactivated vaccines are standardized according to the presence of the viral major surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin and protection is mediated by the induction of vaccine strain specific antibody responses. In contrast, the live attenuated vaccines are licensed in Europe for children from 2–17 years of age and provide a multifaceted immune response with local and systemic antibody and T cell responses but with no clear correlate of protection. Here we discuss the immunological immune responses elicited by the two vaccines and discuss future work to better define correlates of protection.
Abstract: With its vast amount of uncharacterized and characterized T cell epitopes available for activating CD4+ T helper and CD8+ cytotoxic lymphocytes simultaneously, whole tumor antigen represents an attractive alternative source of antigens as compared to tumor-derived peptides and full-length recombinant tumor proteins for dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy. Unlike defined tumor-derived peptides and proteins, whole tumor lysate therapy is applicable to all patients regardless of their HLA type. DCs are essentially the master regulators of immune response, and are the most potent antigen-presenting cell population for priming and activating naïve T cells to target tumors. Because of these unique properties, numerous DC-based immunotherapies have been initiated in the clinics. In this review, we describe the different types of whole tumor antigens that we could use to pulse DCs ex vivo and in vivo. We also discuss the different routes of delivering whole tumor antigens to DCs in vivo and activating them with toll-like receptor agonists.