Bacterial ghosts as adjuvants in syngeneic tumour cell lysate-based anticancer vaccination in a murine lung carcinoma model

Oncol Rep. 2017 Jan;37(1):171-178. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.5252. Epub 2016 Nov 16.


Instead of relying on external anticancer factors for treatment, immunotherapy utilizes the host's own immune system and directs it against given tumour antigens. This study demonstrated that it is possible to overcome the documented immunosuppressive properties of tumour cell lysate by supplementing it with appropriate adjuvant. Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC)‑challenged C57BL/6 mice were treated with LLC cryo‑lysate mixed with either bacterial ghosts (BGs) generated from E. coli Nissle 1917 or B. subtilis 70 kDa protein as adjuvants. Median and overall survival, the size of metastatic foci in lung tissue and levels of circulating CD8a+ T cells were evaluated and compared to the untreated control mice or mice treated with LLC lysate alone. After primary tumour removal, a course of three subcutaneous vaccinations with LLC lysate supplemented with BGs led to a significant increase in overall survival (80% after 84 days of follow‑up vs. 40% in untreated control mice), a significant increase in circulating CD8a+ T cells (16.57 vs. 12.6% in untreated control mice) and a significant decrease in metastasis foci area and incidence. LLC lysate supplemented with B. subtilis protein also improved the inspected parameters in the treated mice, when compared against the untreated control mice, but not to a significant degree. Therefore, whole cell lysate supplemented with BGs emerges as an immunostimulatory construct with potential clinical applications in cancer treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / therapeutic use
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Bacteria / chemistry
  • Bacteria / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Lewis Lung / therapy*
  • Cell Extracts / immunology
  • Cell Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Escherichia coli
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Cell Extracts