Human dendritic cells adenovirally-engineered to express three defined tumor antigens promote broad adaptive and innate immunity

Oncoimmunology. 2012 May 1;1(3):287-357. doi: 10.4161/onci.18628.


Dendritic cell (DC) immunotherapy has shown a promising ability to promote anti-tumor immunity in vitro and in vivo. Many trials have tested single epitopes and single antigens to activate single T cell specificities, and often CD8(+) T cells only. We previously found that determinant spreading and breadth of antitumor immunity correlates with improved clinical response. Therefore, to promote activation and expansion of polyclonal, multiple antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells, as well as provide cognate help from antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells, we have created an adenovirus encoding three full length melanoma tumor antigens (tyrosinase, MART-1 and MAGE-A6, "AdVTMM"). We previously showed that adenovirus (AdV)-mediated antigen engineering of human DC is superior to peptide pulsing for T cell activation, and has positive biological effects on the DC, allowing for efficient activation of not only antigen-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells, but also NK cells. Here we describe the cloning and testing of "AdVTMM2," an E1/E3-deleted AdV encoding the three melanoma antigens. This novel three-antigen virus expresses mRNA and protein for all antigens, and AdVTMM-transduced DC activate both CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells which recognize melanoma tumor cells more efficiently than single antigen AdV. Addition of physiological levels of interferon-α (IFNα) further amplifies melanoma antigen-specific T cell activation. NK cells are also activated, and show cytotoxic activity. Vaccination with multi-antigen engineered DC may provide for superior adaptive and innate immunity and ultimately, improved antitumor responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't