Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer vaccines self-sabotage, channel immune attack to injection site

04.03.2013
UT MD Anderson scientists find common vaccine ingredient diverts T cells from tumors

Cancer vaccines that attempt to stimulate an immune system assault fail because the killer T cells aimed at tumors instead find the vaccination site a more inviting target, scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in Nature Medicine.

A common substance used in many cancer vaccines to boost immune attack betrays the cause by facilitating a buildup of T cells at the vaccination site, which then summon more T cells to help with the perceived threat.

"Vaccines stimulate production of T cells primed to attack the target cancer, and there are many T cells in the bloodstream after vaccination. We found that only a few get to the tumor while many more are stuck at or double back to the vaccination site," said senior author Willem Overwijk, Ph.D., in MD Anderson's Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology.

The result: largely unscathed tumors while an overstimulated immune response can cause lesions at the injection site. The team found that a major culprit in this failure is incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), a mineral oil-based adjuvant included in many vaccines to stoke the immune response.

"IFA sticks around the vaccination site for up to three months, along with the antigen designed to trigger immunity against the tumor," Overwijk said. "T cells keep attacking and secreting chemokines to call for reinforcements. But it's an unkillable target; T cells can't kill mineral oil."

Eventually, the T cells die. "The vaccination site increasingly resembles a viral infection, with lots of damaged tissue and antigens," Overwijk said.

Switch from IFA to saline adjuvant reverses effect

"Switching to a saline-based adjuvant in a melanoma vaccine reversed the T cell effect in mice," Overwijk said, "Major accumulations of T cells gathered in tumors, shrinking them, with minimal T cell activity at the vaccination site."

Peptide antigens are available for almost all types of cancer, Overwijk said. A saline adjuvant could change the poor performance of cancer vaccines.

A clinical trial of the concept is expected to open later this year led by Craig Singluff Jr., M.D., professor of surgery at the University of Virginia Medical School, and Patrick Hwu, M.D., chair of MD Anderson’s Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology.

Overwijk and colleagues noted 98 federally approved U.S. clinical trials of vaccines against a variety of cancers have almost all failed, while another 37 trials are open, enrolling patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only one therapeutic vaccine, for treatment of prostate cancer, out of all of those trials.

"Our group and many other researchers have been trying for years to improve the performance of cancer vaccines, to no avail," Overwijk said. "People kept trying because of these beguiling T cell levels in the blood. But our data suggest that the very nature of IFA-based vaccines may make it almost impossible for them to work well."

In past experiments and clinical trials, tumors were rarely examined for evidence of T cell penetration. In people, they are often inoperable, and there was no indication that it needed to be done. "But a few researchers did analyze human tumors for T cell infiltration and largely found what we found in our mouse experiments," he said.

Mouse studies reveal vaccine self-sabotage

The team studied the fate of melanoma-specific CD8-positive T cells after vaccination with the gp100 peptide with and without IFA.

Both vaccines increased levels of the desired T cells in the blood, but with IFA, the T cells dropped to nearly undetectable levels after three weeks and did not rebound even with an engineered virus-based booster. The vaccine-lacking IFA produced similar peak amounts of the T cells, a response that persisted over time.

The research team fluorescently tagged T cells in the mouse model to see where they went.
Mice without IFA had the bulk of T cells light up in their tumors with minimal presence at the vaccination site.
T cells built up at the injection site in mice that received IFA-based vaccine, with a tiny showing in the tumor.

Response duration was tested in gp100/IFA and control IFA vaccines. The antigen/IFA combination gathered and persisted at the vaccination site, where it could still stimulate the proliferation of injected T cells 96 days after vaccination.

A separate set of experiments showed the antigen/IFA-driven T cells were forced to kill themselves at the vaccination site by a variety of cell suicide-inducing proteins.

Reducing vaccine depots at injection site

Overwijk and colleagues inferred that a possible answer to the problem was to reduce the size and persistence of vaccine "depots" at the injection site.

They tested a vaccine based on a saline solution instead of IFA and found that antigens cleared more quickly but did not spark the desired T cell response. A combination of three stimulatory molecules (covax) was added to the saline/peptide vaccine, producing a strong T cell response. IFA/peptide vaccine produced a strong T cell response but also stronger post-peak T cell suicide.

A comparison of saline/peptide/covax vs. IFA/peptide/covax showed the saline version caused T cells to home to the tumor and destroy them, while the IFA version focused T cells at the vaccination site, killing normal tissue and inducing chemokines that damaged and killed T cells.

"IFA-based vaccination sites essentially outcompete tumor sites for T cell recognition and accumulation, chemokine production and tissue damage," Overwijk said. "It's an engineering flaw in those vaccines that we didn't appreciate until now. Fortunately, our results also directly instruct us how to design new, more powerful vaccine formulas for treating people with cancer."

Co-authors are first author Yared Hailemichael, Zhimin Dai, Nina Jaffarzad, Yang Ye, Miguel Medina, Xue-Fei Huang, Stephanie Dorta-Estremera Nathaniel Greeley, , Giovanni Nitti, Weiyi Peng, Chengwen Liu, Yanyan Lou, Brian Rabinovich and Patrick Hwu, all of MD Anderson's Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology; Zhiqiang Wang, Wencai Ma, and Richard Davis, of MD Anderson's Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma; and Kimberly Schluns, of MD Anderson's Department of Immunology.

Dorta-Estremera, Greeley, and Nitti are graduate students in The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a graduate school operated jointly by MD Anderson and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Schluns, Davis, Hwu and Overwijk also are on the GSBS faculty.

Grants from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (RO1 1CA143077 and PO1 CA128913) and an award from the Melanoma Research Alliance funded this research.

About MD Anderson

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For nine of the past 11 years, including 2012, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).

Get M. D. Anderson News Via RSS Follow MDAnderson News on Twitter

Scott Merville | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>