Combination of Interleukin-12 gene Therapy, Metronomic Cyclophosphamide and DNA Cancer Vaccination Directs all Arms of the Immune System Towards Tumor Eradication

Denies et al., Journal of Controlled Release (2014) - PMID:24887014

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In this work a combination therapy that acts upon the immune suppressive, the innate and specific arms of the immune system is proposed. This combination therapy, which consists of intratumoral interleukin-12 (IL-12) gene therapy, human tyrosinase (hTyr) DNA vaccination and metronomic cyclophosphamide (CPX), was evaluated in a B16-F10 mouse model. The following groups were compared: (1) no treatment, (2) control vector, (3) intratumoral IL-12 gene therapy, (4) intratumoral IL-12 gene therapy+metronomic CPX, (5) intratumoral IL-12 gene therapy+metronomic CPX+hTyr DNA vaccination. Next to clinical efficacy and safety, we characterized acute effects of IL-12 and anti-tumor immune response after a second tumor challenge. All treatment groups showed increased survival and higher cure rates than control groups. Survival of non-cured mice was increased when metronomic CPX was combined with IL-12 gene therapy. Furthermore, mice that received metronomic CPX had significantly lower percentages of regulatory T cells. Addition of the hTyr DNA vaccine increased cure rate and resulted in increased survival compared to other treatment groups. We also demonstrated that the manifest necrosis within days after IL-12 gene therapy is at least partly due to IL-12 mediated activation of NK cells. All cured mice were resistant to a second challenge. A humoral memory response against the tumor cells was observed in all groups that received IL-12 gene therapy, while a cellular memory response was observed only in the vaccinated mice. In conclusion, every component of this combination treatment contributed a unique immunologic trait with associated clinical benefits.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Immunotherapy; Interleukin-12; Melanoma; Metronomic chemotherapy; Tyrosinase vaccine

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