Oncofetal fucose-rich glycovariants of the pathological bile salt-dependent lipase (pBSDL) appear during human pancreatic oncogenesis and are detected by themonoclonal antibody J28 (mAbJ28). We aimed to identify murine counterparts onpancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells and tissue and investigate the potential of dendritic cells (DC) loaded with this unique pancreatic tumor antigen to promote immunotherapy in preclinical trials. Pathological BSDLs purified from pancreatic juices of patients with PDAC were cleaved to generate glycosylated C-terminal moieties (C-ter) containing mAbJ28-reactive glycoepitopes. Immunoreactivity of the murine PDAC line Panc02 and tumor tissue to mAbJ28 was detected by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. C-ter-J28+ immunization promoted Th1-dominated immune responses. In vitro C-ter-J28+-loaded DCskewed CD3+ T-cells toward Th1 polarization. C-ter-J28+-DC-vaccinations selectively enhanced cell immunoreactivity to Panc02, as demonstrated by CD4+- and CD8+-T-cell activation, increased percentages of CD4+- and CD8+-T-cells and NK1.1+ cells expressing granzyme B, and T-cell cytotoxicity. Prophylactic and therapeutic C-ter-J28+-DC-vaccinations reduced ectopic Panc02-tumor growth, provided long-lasting protection from Panc02-tumor development in 100% of micebut not from melanoma, and attenuated progression of orthotopic tumors as revealed by MRI. Thusmurine DC loaded with pancreatic tumor-specific glycoepitope C-ter-J28+ induce efficient anticancer adaptive immunity and represent a potential adjuvant therapy for patients afflicted with PDAC.
Keywords: active immunotherapy; biomarker; cancer vaccines; pancreatic cancer; tumor-associated antigen.