Vaccines2015, 3(3), 597-619; doi:10.3390/vaccines3030597 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The significant contribution of host immunity in early tumorigenesis has been recently recognized as a result of our better understanding of the molecular pathways regulating tumor cell biology and tumor-lymphocyte interactions. Emerging evidence suggests that disseminated dormant tumor cells derived from primary tumors before or after immune surveillance, are responsible for subsequent metastases. Recent trends from the field of onco-immunology suggest that efficiently stimulating endogenous anticancer immunity is a prerequisite for the successful outcome of conventional cancer therapies. Harnessing the immune system to achieve clinical efficacy is realistic in the context of conventional therapies resulting in immunogenic cell death and/or immunostimulatory side effects. Targeted therapies designed to target oncogenic pathways in tumor cells can also positively regulate the endogenous immune response and tumor microenvironment. Identification of T cell inhibitory signals has prompted the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors, which specifically hinder immune effector inhibition, reinvigorating and potentially expanding the preexisting anticancer immune response. This anticancer immunity can be amplified in the setting of immunotherapies, mostly in the form of vaccines, which boost naturally occurring T cell clones specifically recognizing tumor antigens. Thus, a promising anticancer therapy will aim to activate patients’ naturally occurring anticancer immunity either to eliminate residual tumor cells or to prolong dormancy in disseminated tumor cells. Such an endogenous anticancer immunity plays a significant role for controlling the balance between dormant tumor cells and tumor escape, and restraining metastases. In this review, we mean to suggest that anticancer therapies aiming to stimulate the endogenous antitumor responses provide the concept of the therapeutic management of cancer.
Abstract: Cholera toxin subunit B (CTB) is the nontoxic portion of cholera toxin. Its affinity to the monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) that is broadly distributed in a variety of cell types including epithelial cells of the gut and antigen presenting cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and B cells, allows its optimal access to the immune system. CTB can easily be expressed on its own in a variety of organisms, and several approaches can be used to couple it to antigens, either by genetic fusion or by chemical manipulation, leading to strongly enhanced immune responses to the antigens. In autoimmune diseases, CTB has the capacity to evoke regulatory responses and to thereby dampen autoimmune responses, in several but not all animal models. It remains to be seen whether the latter approach translates to success in the clinic, however, the versatility of CTB to manipulate immune responses in either direction makes this protein a promising adjuvant for vaccine development.
Abstract: Understanding the heterogeneity of groups along the vaccine hesitancy continuum presents an opportunity to tailor and increase the impact of public engagement efforts with these groups. Audience segmentation can support these goals, as demonstrated here in the context of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. In March 2010, we surveyed 1569 respondents, drawn from a nationally representative sample of American adults, with oversampling of racial/ethnic minorities and persons living below the United States Federal Poverty Level. Guided by the Structural Influence Model, we assessed knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to H1N1; communication outcomes; and social determinants. Among those who did not receive the vaccine (n = 1166), cluster analysis identified three vaccine-hesitant subgroups. Disengaged Skeptics (67%) were furthest from vaccine acceptance, with low levels of concern and engagement. The Informed Unconvinced (19%) were sophisticated consumers of media and health information who may not have been reached with information to motivate vaccination. The Open to Persuasion cluster (14%) had the highest levels of concern and motivation and may have required engagement about vaccination broadly. There were significant sociodemographic differences between groups. This analysis highlights the potential to use segmentation techniques to identify subgroups on the vaccine hesitancy continuum and tailor public engagement efforts accordingly.
Abstract: Therapeutic cancer vaccines do not hold promise yet as an effective anti-cancer treatment. Lack of efficacy or poor clinical outcomes are due to several antigenic and immunological aspects that need to be addressed in order to reverse such trends and significantly improve cancer vaccines’ efficacy. The newly developed high throughput technologies and computational tools are instrumental to this aim allowing the identification of more specific antigens and the comprehensive analysis of the innate and adaptive immunities. Here, we review the potentiality of systems biology in providing novel insights in the mechanisms of the action of vaccines to improve their design and effectiveness.
Abstract: Despite the promise of targeted therapies, there remains an urgent need for effective treatment for esophageal cancer (EC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Current FDA-approved drugs have significant problems of toxicity, safety, selectivity, efficacy and development of resistance. In this manuscript, we demonstrate that rationally designed peptide vaccines/mimics are a viable therapeutic strategy for blocking aberrant molecular signaling pathways with high affinity, specificity, potency and safety. Specifically, we postulate that novel combination treatments targeting members of the EGFR family and IGF-1R will yield significant anti-tumor effects in in vitro models of EC and TNBC possibly overcoming mechanisms of resistance. We show that the combination of HER-1 and HER-2 or HER-1 and IGF-1R peptide mimics/vaccine antibodies exhibited enhanced antitumor properties with significant inhibition of tumorigenesis in OE19 EC and MDA-MB-231 TNBC cell lines. Our work elucidates the mechanisms of HER-1/IGF-1R and HER-1/HER-2 signaling in these cancer cell lines, and the promising results support the rationale for dual targeting with HER-1 and HER-2 or IGF-1R as an improved treatment regimen for advanced therapy tailored to difference types of cancer.
Abstract: Vaccines against dengue virus (DV) are commercially nonexistent. A subunit vaccination strategy may be of value, especially if a safe viral vector acts as biologically active adjuvant. In this paper, we focus on an immunoglobulin-like, independently folded domain III (DIII) from DV 2 envelope protein (E), which contains epitopes that elicits highly specific neutralizing antibodies. We modified the hepatitis B small surface antigen (HBsAg, S) in order to display DV 2 DIII on a virus-like particle (VLP), thus generating the hybrid antigen DIII-S. Two varieties of measles virus (MV) vectors were developed to express DIII-S. The first expresses the hybrid antigen from an additional transcription unit (ATU) and the second additionally expresses HBsAg from a separate ATU. We found that this second MV vectoring the hybrid VLPs displaying DIII-S on an unmodified HBsAg scaffold were immunogenic in MV-susceptible mice (HuCD46Ge-IFNarko), eliciting robust neutralizing responses (averages) against MV (1:1280 NT90), hepatitis B virus (787 mIU/mL), and DV2 (1:160 NT50) in all of the tested animals. Conversely, the MV vector expressing only DIII-S induced immunity against MV alone. In summary, DV2 neutralizing responses can be generated by displaying E DIII on a scaffold of HBsAg-based VLPs, vectored by MV.