Peptide Based Vaccine Approaches for Cancer-A Novel Approach Using a WT-1 Synthetic Long Peptide and the IRX-2 Immunomodulatory Regimen

Cancers (Basel). 2011 Oct 25;3(4):3991-4009. doi: 10.3390/cancers3043991.


Therapeutic cancer vaccines have the potential to generate a long lasting immune response that will destroy tumor cells with specificity and safety, in contrast to many other current cancer therapies. Clinical success to date has been limited by a number of factors including choice of immunogenic cancer rejection antigens, optimization of vaccine platforms and immune adjuvants to effectively polarize the immune response, and incorporation of strategies to reverse cancer mediated immune suppression by utilization of effective adjuvant/immune modulators. WT-1 (Wilms' tumor gene 1) is a cancer antigen that is required for tumorigenesis, expressed in a high percentage of tumor cells and rarely expressed in adult normal cells. Moreover spontaneous immunity to WT-1 is seen in cancer patients and can be augmented with various therapeutic vaccine approaches. IRX-2 is an immune modulator with demonstrated preclinical and clinical pleiotropic immune activities including enhancement of the immune response to potential tumor antigens. This paper presents the rationale and preclinical data for utilizing the WT-1 tumor antigen in a novel vaccine platform consisting of a synthetic long peptide containing multiple class I and class II epitopes in combination with the IRX-2 immunomodulatory regimen to overcome immuno-suppressive pathways and enhance the anti-tumor response.