Introduction: DNA immunization with xenogeneic genes encoding homologous antigens protects mice against tumor challenge with syngeneic melanoma in a lung metastasis model. The effect of xenogeneic human TRP-2 (hTRP2) DNA immunization on disease confined to an orthotopic site, the skin, and in a model of minimal residual disease that is relevant to a setting of adjuvant therapy for micrometastatic cancer is reported.
Methods: Immunization and tumor challenge with B16F10LM3 melanoma were performed in C57BL/6 mice and in mice genetically deficient in MHC class I or II molecules. A melanoma variant of B16 with a predilection for lung metastasis was selected and used to challenge C57BL/6 mice. Tumor challenge in the footpad with the B16 variant was followed by local tumor growth and lung metastasis. The tumor-bearing distal extremities were surgically resected and mice were randomized to receive hTRP2 DNA immunization or no treatment. Approximately 3-5 weeks after surgical resection, lungs were harvested and metastases counted.
Results: Xenogeneic DNA immunization with hTRP2 prevented tumor growth in the skin by a mechanism requiring CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells but did not inhibit the growth of established tumors. Adjuvant immunization with hTRP2 DNA after resection significantly reduced lung metastases and decreased local recurrence rates after surgical resection.
Conclusions: Xenogeneic DNA immunization with hTRP2 was effective in protecting mice from intradermal tumor challenge. Immunization prevented local recurrence and the development of metastases in a mouse model of minimal residual disease, supporting a role for DNA immunization against melanosomal antigens as an adjuvant to surgery in high-risk primary melanomas.
(c)2001 Elsevier Science.