Open AccessReview
Oncolytic Alphaviruses in Cancer Immunotherapy
Vaccines 2017, 5(2), 9; doi:10.3390/vaccines5020009 -
Abstract
Oncolytic viruses show specific targeting and killing of tumor cells and therefore provide attractive assets for cancer immunotherapy. In parallel to oncolytic viral vectors based on adenoviruses and herpes simplex viruses, oncolytic RNA viruses and particularly alphaviruses have been evaluated as delivery vehicles.
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Oncolytic viruses show specific targeting and killing of tumor cells and therefore provide attractive assets for cancer immunotherapy. In parallel to oncolytic viral vectors based on adenoviruses and herpes simplex viruses, oncolytic RNA viruses and particularly alphaviruses have been evaluated as delivery vehicles. Immunization studies in experimental rodent models for various cancers including glioblastoma, hematologic, hepatocellular, colon, cervix, and lung cancer as well as melanoma have been conducted with naturally occurring oncolytic alphavirus strains such as M1 and Sindbis AR339. Moreover, animals were vaccinated with engineered oncolytic replication-deficient and -competent Semliki Forest virus, Sindbis virus and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus vectors expressing various antigens. Vaccinations elicited strong antibody responses and resulted in tumor growth inhibition, tumor regression and even complete tumor eradication. Vaccination also led to prolonged survival in several animal models. Furthermore, preclinical evaluation demonstrated both prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy of oncolytic alphavirus administration. Clinical trials in humans have mainly been limited to safety studies so far. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Cost of Cost-Sharing: The Impact of Medicaid Benefit Design on Influenza Vaccination Uptake
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010008 -
Abstract
Prior research indicates that cost-sharing and lack of insurance coverage reduce preventive services use among low-income persons. State Medicaid policy may affect the uptake of recommended adult vaccinations. We examined the impact of three aspects of Medicaid benefit design (coverage for vaccines, prohibiting
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Prior research indicates that cost-sharing and lack of insurance coverage reduce preventive services use among low-income persons. State Medicaid policy may affect the uptake of recommended adult vaccinations. We examined the impact of three aspects of Medicaid benefit design (coverage for vaccines, prohibiting cost-sharing, and copayment amounts) on vaccine uptake in the fee-for-service Medicaid population 19–64 years old. We combined previously published reports to obtain state Medicaid policy information from 2003 and 2012. Data on influenza vaccination uptake were taken from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We used a differences-in-differences framework, controlling for national trends and state differences, to estimate the effect of each benefit design factor on vaccination uptake in different Medicaid-eligible populations. Each additional dollar of copayment for vaccination decreased influenza vaccination coverage 1–6 percentage points. The effects of covering vaccines or prohibiting cost-sharing were mixed. Imposing copayments for vaccination is associated with lower vaccination coverage. These findings have implications for the implementation of Medicaid expansion in states that currently impose copayments. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Escape of Cancer from T Cell-Mediated Immune Surveillance: HLA Class I Loss and Tumor Tissue Architecture
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010007 -
Abstract
Tumor immune escape is associated with the loss of tumor HLA class I (HLA-I) expression commonly found in malignant cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that the efficacy of immunotherapy depends on the expression levels of HLA class I molecules on tumors cells. It also
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Tumor immune escape is associated with the loss of tumor HLA class I (HLA-I) expression commonly found in malignant cells. Accumulating evidence suggests that the efficacy of immunotherapy depends on the expression levels of HLA class I molecules on tumors cells. It also depends on the molecular mechanism underlying the loss of HLA expression, which could be reversible/“soft” or irreversible/“hard” due to genetic alterations in HLA, β2-microglobulin or IFN genes. Immune selection of HLA-I negative tumor cells harboring structural/irreversible alterations has been demonstrated after immunotherapy in cancer patients and in experimental cancer models. Here, we summarize recent findings indicating that tumor HLA-I loss also correlates with a reduced intra-tumor T cell infiltration and with a specific reorganization of tumor tissue. T cell immune selection of HLA-I negative tumors results in a clear separation between the stroma and the tumor parenchyma with leucocytes, macrophages and other mononuclear cells restrained outside the tumor mass. Better understanding of the structural and functional changes taking place in the tumor microenvironment may help to overcome cancer immune escape and improve the efficacy of different immunotherapeutic strategies. We also underline the urgent need for designing strategies to enhance tumor HLA class I expression that could improve tumor rejection by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL). Full article
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Open AccessReview
Harnessing Nanoparticles for Immunomodulation and Vaccines
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010006 -
Abstract
The first successful use of nanoparticles (NPs) for vaccination was reported almost 40 years ago with a virus-like particle-based vaccine against Hepatitis B. Since then, the term NP has been expanded to accommodate a large number of novel nano-sized particles engineered from a
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The first successful use of nanoparticles (NPs) for vaccination was reported almost 40 years ago with a virus-like particle-based vaccine against Hepatitis B. Since then, the term NP has been expanded to accommodate a large number of novel nano-sized particles engineered from a range of materials. The great interest in NPs is likely not only a result of the two successful vaccines against hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that use this technology, but also due to the versatility of those small-sized particles, as indicated by the wide range of applications reported so far, ranging from medicinal and cosmetics to purely technical applications. In this review, we will focus on the use of NPs, especially virus-like particles (VLPs), in the field of vaccines and will discuss their employment as vaccines, antigen display platforms, adjuvants and drug delivery systems. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Human T Cell Memory: A Dynamic View
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010005 -
Abstract
Long-term T cell-mediated protection depends upon the formation of a pool of memory cells to protect against future pathogen challenge. In this review we argue that looking at T cell memory from a dynamic viewpoint can help in understanding how memory populations are
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Long-term T cell-mediated protection depends upon the formation of a pool of memory cells to protect against future pathogen challenge. In this review we argue that looking at T cell memory from a dynamic viewpoint can help in understanding how memory populations are maintained following pathogen exposure or vaccination. For example, a dynamic view resolves the apparent paradox between the relatively short lifespans of individual memory cells and very long-lived immunological memory by focussing on the persistence of clonal populations, rather than individual cells. Clonal survival is achieved by balancing proliferation, death and differentiation rates within and between identifiable phenotypic pools; such pools correspond broadly to sequential stages in the linear differentiation pathway. Each pool has its own characteristic kinetics, but only when considered as a population; single cells exhibit considerable heterogeneity. In humans, we tend to concentrate on circulating cells, but memory T cells in non-lymphoid tissues and bone marrow are increasingly recognised as critical for immune defence; their kinetics, however, remain largely unexplored. Considering vaccination from this viewpoint shifts the focus from the size of the primary response to the survival of the clone and enables identification of critical system pinch-points and opportunities to improve vaccine efficacy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
From Immunologically Archaic to Neoteric Glycovaccines
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010004 -
Abstract
Polysaccharides (PS) are present in the outermost surface of bacteria and readily come in contact with immune cells. They interact with specific antibodies, which in turn confer protection from infections. Vaccines with PS from pneumococci, meningococci, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and Salmonella typhi
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Polysaccharides (PS) are present in the outermost surface of bacteria and readily come in contact with immune cells. They interact with specific antibodies, which in turn confer protection from infections. Vaccines with PS from pneumococci, meningococci, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and Salmonella typhi may be protective, although with the important constraint of failing to generate permanent immunological memory. This limitation has in part been circumvented by conjugating glycovaccines to proteins that stimulate T helper cells and facilitate the establishment of immunological memory. Currently, protection evoked by conjugated PS vaccines lasts for a few years. The same approach failed with PS from staphylococci, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Klebsiella. All those germs cause severe infections in humans and often develop resistance to antibiotic therapy. Thereby, prevention is of increasing importance to better control outbreaks. As only 23 of more than 90 pneumococcal serotypes and 4 of 13 clinically relevant Neisseria meningitidis serogroups are covered by available vaccines there is still tremendous clinical need for PS vaccines. This review focuses on glycovaccines and the immunological mechanisms for their success or failure. We discuss recent advances that may facilitate generation of high affinity anti-PS antibodies and confer specific immunity and long-lasting protection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Protective Vaccine against Chlamydia Genital Infection Using Vault Nanoparticles without an Added Adjuvant
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010003 -
Abstract
Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial disease, causing a significant burden to females due to reproductive dysfunction. Intensive screening and antibiotic treatment are unable to completely prevent female reproductive dysfunction, thus, efforts have become focused on developing a
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Chlamydia trachomatis genital infection is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial disease, causing a significant burden to females due to reproductive dysfunction. Intensive screening and antibiotic treatment are unable to completely prevent female reproductive dysfunction, thus, efforts have become focused on developing a vaccine. A major impediment is identifying a safe and effective adjuvant which induces cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) cells with attributes capable of halting genital infection and inflammation. Previously, we described a natural nanocapsule called the vault which was engineered to contain major outer membrane protein (MOMP) and was an effective vaccine which significantly reduced early infection and favored development of a cellular immune response in a mouse model. In the current study, we used another chlamydial antigen, a polymorphic membrane protein G-1 (PmpG) peptide, to track antigen-specific cells and evaluate, in depth, the vault vaccine for its protective capacity in the absence of an added adjuvant. We found PmpG-vault immunized mice significantly reduced the genital bacterial burden and histopathologic parameters of inflammation following a C. muridarum challenge. Immunization boosted antigen-specific CD4 cells with a multiple cytokine secretion pattern and reduced the number of inflammatory cells in the genital tract making the vault vaccine platform safe and effective for chlamydial genital infection. We conclude that vaccination with a Chlamydia-vault vaccine boosts antigen-specific immunities that are effective at eradicating infection and preventing reproductive tract inflammation. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Vaccines in 2016
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010002 -
Abstract The editors of Vaccines would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Young Hungarian Students’ Knowledge about HPV and Their Attitude Toward HPV Vaccination
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 1; doi:10.3390/vaccines5010001 -
Abstract
(1) Background: Hungarys’s estimated cervical cancer mortality was 6.9/100,000 in 2012, above the average of the EU27 countries (3.7/100,000) in the same year. Since 2014, the bivalent HPV vaccine has been offered to schoolgirls aged 12–13. (2) Methods: We conducted a
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(1) Background: Hungarys’s estimated cervical cancer mortality was 6.9/100,000 in 2012, above the average of the EU27 countries (3.7/100,000) in the same year. Since 2014, the bivalent HPV vaccine has been offered to schoolgirls aged 12–13. (2) Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among 1022 high school seniors (492 girls, 530 boys) in 19 randomly selected schools in Budapest. Our anonymous questionnaire contained 54 items: basic socio-demographic data, knowledge about HPV infection/cervical cancer and HPV vaccination. (3) Results: 54.9% knew that HPV caused cervical cancer, and 52.1% identified HPV as an STD. Knowledge of risk factors such as promiscuity (46.9%) and early sexual activity (15.6%) was low, but higher than that of further HPV-induced diseases: genital warts (in females 9.9%, in males 9%), anal cancer (in females 2.2%, in males 1.9%), penile cancer (9.4%), and vulvar cancer (7.8%). A percentage of 14.6% feared getting infected, and 35.7% supported compulsory HPV vaccination. A percentage of 51.2% would have their future children vaccinated—significantly more girls than boys. (4) Conclusion: Our results support the findings of previous studies about young adults’ HPV-related knowledge, which was poor, especially regarding pathologies in men. Despite the low level of awareness, the students’ attitude was mostly positive when asked about vaccinating their future children. Full article
Open AccessReview
An Overview of Vaccination Strategies and Antigen Delivery Systems for Streptococcus agalactiae Vaccines in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 48; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040048 -
Abstract
Streptococcus agalactiae is an emerging infectious disease adversely affecting Nile tilapia (Niloticus oreochromis) production in aquaculture. Research carried out in the last decade has focused on developing protective vaccines using different strategies, although no review has been carried out to evaluate
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Streptococcus agalactiae is an emerging infectious disease adversely affecting Nile tilapia (Niloticus oreochromis) production in aquaculture. Research carried out in the last decade has focused on developing protective vaccines using different strategies, although no review has been carried out to evaluate the efficacy of these strategies. The purpose of this review is to provide a synopsis of vaccination strategies and antigen delivery systems currently used for S. agalactiae vaccines in tilapia. Furthermore, as shown herein, current vaccine designs include the use of replicative antigen delivery systems, such as attenuated virulent strains, heterologous vectors and DNA vaccines, while non-replicative vaccines include the inactivated whole cell (IWC) and subunit vaccines encoding different S. agalactiae immunogenic proteins. Intraperitoneal vaccination is the most widely used immunization strategy, although immersion, spray and oral vaccines have also been tried with variable success. Vaccine efficacy is mostly evaluated by use of the intraperitoneal challenge model aimed at evaluating the relative percent survival (RPS) of vaccinated fish. The major limitation with this approach is that it lacks the ability to elucidate the mechanism of vaccine protection at portals of bacterial entry in mucosal organs and prevention of pathology in target organs. Despite this, indications are that the correlates of vaccine protection can be established based on antibody responses and antigen dose, although these parameters require optimization before they can become an integral part of routine vaccine production. Nevertheless, this review shows that different approaches can be used to produce protective vaccines against S. agalactiae in tilapia although there is a need to optimize the measures of vaccine efficacy. Full article
Open AccessReview
Tumor Microenvironment Metabolism: A New Checkpoint for Anti-Tumor Immunity
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 46; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040046 -
Abstract
When a T cell infiltrates a tumor, it is subjected to a variety of immunosuppressive and regulatory signals in the microenvironment. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that due to the proliferative and energetically-deregulated nature of tumor cells, T cells also operate at
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When a T cell infiltrates a tumor, it is subjected to a variety of immunosuppressive and regulatory signals in the microenvironment. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that due to the proliferative and energetically-deregulated nature of tumor cells, T cells also operate at a metabolic disadvantage. The nutrient dearth of the tumor microenvironment (TME) creates “metabolic checkpoints” upon infiltrating T cells, impacting their ability to survive, proliferate and function effectively. In this review, we summarize the basics of tumor cell and T cell metabolism and discuss recent advances elucidating the individual metabolic checkpoints exerted on T cells that drive their dysfunction in the TME. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Co-Administration of Lipid Nanoparticles and Sub-Unit Vaccine Antigens Is Required for Increase in Antigen-Specific Immune Responses in Mice
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 47; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040047 -
Abstract
A vast body of evidence suggests that nanoparticles function as potent immune-modulatory agents. We have previously shown that Merck proprietary Lipid NanoParticles (LNPs) markedly boost B-cell and T-cell responses to sub-unit vaccine antigens in mice. To further evaluate the specifics of vaccine delivery
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A vast body of evidence suggests that nanoparticles function as potent immune-modulatory agents. We have previously shown that Merck proprietary Lipid NanoParticles (LNPs) markedly boost B-cell and T-cell responses to sub-unit vaccine antigens in mice. To further evaluate the specifics of vaccine delivery and dosing regimens in vivo, we performed immunogenicity studies in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice using two model antigens, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) and Ovalbumin (OVA), respectively. To assess the requirement for co-administration of antigen and LNP for the elicitation of immune responses, we evaluated immune responses after administering antigen and LNP to separate limbs, or administering antigen and LNP to the same limb but separated by 24 h. We also evaluated formulations combining antigen, LNP, and aluminum-based adjuvant amorphous aluminum hydroxylphosphate sulfate (MAA) to look for synergistic adjuvant effects. Analyses of antigen-specific B-cell and T-cell responses from immunized mice revealed that the LNPs and antigens must be co-administered—both at the same time and in the same location—in order to boost antigen-specific immune responses. Mixing of antigen with MAA prior to formulation with LNP did not impact the generation of antigen-specific B-cell responses, but drastically reduced the ability of LNPs to boost antigen-specific T-cell responses. Overall, our data demonstrate that the administration of LNPs and vaccine antigen together enables their immune-stimulatory properties. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Synthetic Biodegradable Microparticle and Nanoparticle Vaccines against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Vaccines 2016, 4(4), 45; doi:10.3390/vaccines4040045 -
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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