Peptide intra-tumor injection for cancer immunotherapy: enhancement of tumor cell antigenicity is a novel and attractive strategy

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Jun;9(6):1234-6. doi: 10.4161/hv.23990. Epub 2013 Feb 14.


One of the problems in antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy is the low density of the tumor antigen-derived peptide endogenously presented on tumor cell surface major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. To overcome this, we are engaged in research on peptide intra-tumor injection to enhance tumor cell antigenicity. In in vivo studies using immunodeficient mice, the peptide injected into a solid mass of subcutaneous tumor was revealed to be loaded onto human leukocyte antigen class I molecules of tumor cells. In a peptide vaccine model and an adoptive cell transfer model using C57BL/6 mice, peptide intra-tumor injection was effective in terms of tumor growth inhibition and prolongation of survival time. Moreover, an antigen-spreading effect was detected after peptide intra-tumor injection. Peptide intra-tumor injection is an effective method of enhancing tumor cell antigenicity. It can induce additional peptide loading onto tumor cells, making tumor cells more antigenic for specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte activity. Peptide intra-tumor injection may be a useful option for improvement of antigen-specific immunotherapy against solid tumors.

Keywords: antigen-derived peptide; cancer immunotherapy; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; major histocompatibility complex class I; tumor antigen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Injections / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cancer Vaccines