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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16783

Title: Development of Immunotherapy Against Prostate Cancer Using Lentivirally-transduced Dendritic Cells Expressing Murine erbB2 as a Model Tumor-associated Antigen
Authors: Mossoba, Miriam Esmat
Advisor: Medin, Jeffrey A.
Department: Medical Biophysics
Keywords: Immunotherapy
Cancer
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2009
Abstract: Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in North American men. Current treatments are often not curative, particularly in cases of advanced metastatic disease. Immunotherapy is a promising approach to treating cancer as it harnesses the immune system’s ability to mount potent responses against tumor-associated antigens (TAAs). Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in mediating antigen-specific immunity and have been recently used with some success in clinical trials. The difficulties associated with obtaining sufficient quantities of DCs from cancer patients provided the rationale for developing low-dose DC-based immunotherapy approaches in my thesis project. DCs were genetically engineered using a lentiviral vector (LV) to express erbB2tr, a kinase-deficient version of erbB2. The human form of erbB2, HER2/neu, is overexpressed in 20% of primary prostate tumors and 80% of their metastases, making this TAA an attractive target. Using this LV system, efficient transgene delivery into DCs was achieved without compromising DC function or phenotype. Administering low prime and boost doses (2x10^5 or 2x10^3) of LV-transduced DCs to mice yielded potent and long-term anti-tumor responses against murine prostate tumors engineered to overexpress erbB2tr. The 2x10^5 DC dose yielded complete tumor protection and was associated with humoral and cellular responses. The 2x10^3 dose also offered complete protection in some mice, suggesting that we had reached a lower threshold DC dose. This novel finding prompted us to determine if co-transducing DCs with an additional LV carrying the cDNA for an immunomodulatory factor could augment the efficacy of our low-dose strategy. We chose to test both the DC survival-enhancing RANKL protein and DC function-enhancing IL-12 in combination with erbB2tr. Although DCs co-transduced with the LV/RANKL and LV/erbB2tr did not appear to offer enhanced anti-tumor benefits in a prophylactic setting, co-transduction with LV/IL-12 and LV/erbB2tr did. The incorporation of IL-12 into the low-dose immunization strategy led to robust long-term tumor protection and relatively high levels of Th1 immunity. This is the first demonstration of the efficacy of low-dose DC-mediated immunotherapy using lentiviral vectors as gene transfer tools. These studies establish a platform for DC-mediated therapies that can be realistically translated to the clinic.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16783
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Medical Biophysics - Doctoral theses

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