Indexed on: 24 Nov '20Published on: 24 Nov '20Published in: Oncoimmunology
Therapeutic cancer vaccines aim to induce an effective immune response against cancer, and the effectiveness of these vaccines is influenced by the choice of immunogen, vaccine type, and immunization strategy. Although treatment with cancer vaccines can improve tumor burden and survival, in most animal studies, it is challenging to achieve a complete response against tumor growth and recurrence, without the use of other therapies in combination. Here, we present a novel approach where dual antigens (survivin and MUC1) are co-targeted using three DNA vaccines, followed by a single booster of a recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccine. This heterologous vaccination strategy induced higher levels of interferon (IFN)-γ-secretion and stronger antigen-specific T-cell responses than those induced individually by the DNA vaccines and the MVA vaccine in mice. This strategy also increased the number of active tumor-infiltrating T cells that efficiently inhibit tumor growth in tumor-bearing mice. Heterologous DNA prime-MVA boost immunization was capable of inducing a robust antigen-specific immune-memory, as seen from the resistance to subsequent survivin- and MUC1-expressing tumors. Moreover, the therapeutic effects of DNA prime-MVA boost and DNA prime-adenovirus boost strategies were compared. DNA prime-MVA boost immunization performed better, as indicated by the T effector ratio and the induction of Th1 immunity. This study provides the basis for the use of heterologous DNA prime-MVA boost vaccination regime targeting two antigens simultaneously as a promising immunotherapeutic strategy against cancer. © 2020 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.