Purpose: The prognosis for glioma patients is poor, and development of new treatments is critical. Previously, we engineered polymer-based vaccines that control GM-CSF, CpG-oligonucleotide, and tumor-lysate presentation to regulate immune cell trafficking and activation, which promoted potent immune responses against peripheral tumors. Here, we extend the use of this system to glioma.
Methods: Rats were challenged with an intracranial injection of glioma cells followed (1 week) by administration of the polymeric vaccine (containing GM-CSF, CpG, and tumor-lysate) in the tumor bed. Control rats were treated with blank matrices, matrices with GM-CSF and CpG, or intra-tumoral bolus injections of GM-CSF, CpG, and tumor lysate. Rats were monitored for survival and tested for neurological function.
Results: Survival studies confirmed a benefit of the polymeric vaccine as 90% of vaccinated rats survived for > 100 days. Control rats exhibited minimal benefit. Motor tests revealed that vaccination protected against the loss of forelimb use produced by glioma growth. Histological analysis quantitatively confirmed a robust and rapid reduction in tumor size. Long-term immunity was confirmed when 67% of survivors also survived a second glioma challenge.
Conclusions: These studies extend previous reports regarding this approach to tumor therapy and justify further development for glioma treatment.