Complete regression and systemic protective immune responses obtained in B16 melanomas after treatment with LTX-315

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014 Jun;63(6):601-13. doi: 10.1007/s00262-014-1540-0. Epub 2014 Mar 28.


Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and deadliest form of skin cancer due to its highly metastatic potential, which calls for new and improved therapies. Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs) are naturally occurring molecules found in most species, in which they play a significant role in the first line of defense against pathogens, and several CAPs have shown promising potential as novel anticancer agents. Structure-activity relationship studies on the CAP bovine lactoferricin allowed us to de novo design short chemically modified lytic anticancer peptides. In the present study, we investigated the in vivo antitumor effects of LTX-315 against intradermally established B16 melanomas in syngeneic mice. Intratumoral administration of LTX-315 resulted in tumor necrosis and the infiltration of immune cells into the tumor parenchyma followed by complete regression of the tumor in the majority of the animals. LTX-315 induced the release of danger-associated molecular pattern molecules such as the high mobility group box-1 protein in vitro and the subsequent upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL) 1β, IL6 and IL18 in vivo. Animals cured by LTX-315 treatment were protected against a re-challenge with live B16 tumor cells both intradermally and intravenously. Together, our data indicate that intratumoral treatment with LTX-315 can provide local tumor control followed by protective immune responses and has potential as a new immunotherapeutic agent.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hemolysis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lactoferrin / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Melanoma / metabolism
  • Melanoma / therapy
  • Melanoma, Experimental / immunology*
  • Melanoma, Experimental / metabolism
  • Melanoma, Experimental / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Nude
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use*


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Peptide Fragments
  • lactoferricin B
  • Lactoferrin