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Devaud C.,University of Melbourne | Devaud C.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Darcy P.K.,University of Melbourne | Darcy P.K.,Monash University | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2014

Forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) is an important transcription factor that belongs to the forkhead/winged-helix family of transcriptional regulators. Foxp3 has been extensively studied over the past 13 years as a master regulator of transcription in a specific T-cell type, CD4+ regulatory T cells (Treg), both in humans and in mice. Compelling data characterize Foxp3 as critically important and necessary for the development and the differentiation of Treg. It has been considered initially as the only specific marker for Treg. However, recent work has proposed that Foxp3 can be expressed by other types of lymphoid cells or myeloid cells and also by some non-hematopoietic cells such as epithelial cells. It remains controversial about the expression of Foxp3 in cells other than Treg, but understanding the potential expression and function of this master regulator in different cell subsets could have a wide range of implications for immune tolerance and several pathologies including autoimmune disorders and immune responses to cancer. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.

Amos S.M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Pegram H.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Westwood J.A.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | John L.B.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2011

Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists can trigger broad inflammatory responses that elicit rapid innate immunity and promote the activities of lymphocytes, which can potentially enhance adoptive immunotherapy in the tumor-bearing setting. In the present study, we found that Polyinosinic:Polycytidylic Acid [Poly(I:C)] and CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 1826 [CpG], agonists for TLR 3 and 9, respectively, potently activated adoptively transferred T cells against a murine model of established melanoma. Intratumoral injection of Poly(I:C) and CpG, combined with systemic transfer of activated pmel-1 T cells, specific for gp10025-33, led to enhanced survival and eradication of 9-day established subcutaneous B16F10 melanomas in a proportion of mice. A series of survival studies in knockout mice supported a key mechanistic pathway, whereby TLR agonists acted via host cells to enhance IFN-γ production by adoptively transferred T cells. IFN-γ, in turn, enhanced the immunogenicity of the B16F10 melanoma line, leading to increased killing by adoptively transferred T cells. Thus, this combination approach counteracted tumor escape from immunotherapy via downregulation of immunogenicity. In conclusion, TLR agonists may represent advanced adjuvants within the setting of adoptive T-cell immunotherapy of cancer and hold promise as a safe means of enhancing this approach within the clinic. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

D'Angelo M.E.,Monash University | Arjomand A.,Monash University | Trapani J.A.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Bird P.I.,Monash University
Developmental and Comparative Immunology | Year: 2013

In mammals the 67. kDa pore-forming protein perforin is essential to the granule exocytosis pathway used by cytotoxic lymphocytes to eliminate virally infected and malignant cells. There is indirect evidence that this pathway exists in lower vertebrates such as teleost fish and birds, although in genome databases for the chicken and other bird species the perforin gene is incomplete and no full length expressed sequence tag has been reported. We present here the full gene and transcript sequence of chicken perforin. The inferred protein product contains an extended C-terminus that is at least 90 amino acids longer than any mammalian perforin, which is also evident in partial genomic sequences from other birds. To determine whether this extension is present in the translated protein, we raised two polyclonal antisera. The antisera identified a protein of just less than 80. kDa in both transfected COS-1 cells and concanavalin A stimulated chicken splenocytes, indicating that the extended C-terminus is present in the mature protein. Our findings confirm that perforin exists in birds, and show that it is considerably longer than perforin of non-avian vertebrates. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Duong C.P.M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Duong C.P.M.,University of Melbourne | Yong C.S.M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Yong C.S.M.,University of Melbourne | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Immunology | Year: 2015

The immune system plays a critical role in the elimination and suppression of pathogens. Although the endogenous immune system is capable of immune surveillance resulting in the elimination of cancer cells, tumor cells have developed a variety of mechanisms to escape immune recognition often resulting in tumor outgrowth. The presence of immune infiltrate in tumors has been correlated with a good prognosis following treatment (. Sato et al., 2005; Loi et al., 2013; Clemente et al., 1996; Galon et al., 2006). As such, immune cells such as T cells, have been harnessed in order to target cancer. Tumor reactive lymphocytes, called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) have been isolated and expanded from the tumor and reinfused back into patients for the treatment of melanoma. The promise of adoptive immunotherapy utilizing TILs as a robust treatment for cancer has been highlighted in patients with advanced melanoma with greater than 50% of patients responding to treatment (. Dudley et al., 2005). Although TIL therapy has shown promising results in melanoma patients, it has proved difficult to translate this approach to other cancers, given that the numbers of TILs that can be isolated are generally low. To broaden this therapy for other cancers, T cells have been genetically modified to endow them with tumor reactivity using either a T cell receptor (TCR) (. Parkhurst et al., 2009, 2011; Chinnasamy et al., 2011) or a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) (. Grupp et al., 2013; Park et al., 2007). This review will outline the origins and development of adoptive immunotherapy utilizing TILs leading to genetic modification strategies to redirect T cells to cancer. Potential hurdles and novel strategies will be discussed for realizing the full potential of adoptive immunotherapy becoming a standard of care treatment for cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Amos S.M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Duong C.P.M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Westwood J.A.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Ritchie D.S.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | And 7 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

In this age of promise of new therapies for cancer, immunotherapy is emerging as an exciting treatment option for patients. Vaccines and cytokines are being tested extensively in clinical trials, and strategies using monoclonal antibodies and cell transfer are mediating dramatic regression of tumors in patients with certain malignancies. However, although initially advocated as being more specific for cancer and having fewer side effects than conventional therapies, it is becoming increasingly clear that many immunotherapies can lead to immune reactions against normal tissues. Immunotoxicities resulting from treatment can range from relatively minor conditions, such as skin depigmentation, to severe toxicities against crucial organ systems, such as liver, bowel, and lung. Treatment-related toxicity has correlated with better responses in some cases, and it is probable that serious adverse events from immune-mediated reactions will increase in frequency and severity as immunotherapeutic approaches become more effective. This review introduces immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment, provides details of toxicities arising from therapy, and discusses future potential ways to avoid or circumvent these side effects. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Duong C.P.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Westwood J.A.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Berry L.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Darcy P.K.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | And 5 more authors.
Immunotherapy | Year: 2011

Adoptive immunotherapy is a promising approach for the treatment of cancer; however, autoimmunity against normal tissue can be a serious complication of this therapy. We hypothesized that T-cell cultures responding maximally only when engaging two antigens would be more specific for tumor cells, and less active against normal cells, as long as the tumor expressed both antigens, while normal cells expressed only one of the antigens. A model system was developed consisting of cell lines expressing either folate binding protein or erbB-2, representing 'normal tissue, and cells expressing both antigens representing tumor tissue. Human T-cell cultures were produced using two chimeric antigen receptor vectors ('dual transduced), or using a single chimeric antigen receptor vector (monospecific). Dual-transduced T cells responded less against 'normal cells compared with tumor cells. This relatively simple procedure produced T-cell cultures that were as active against a tumor as the monospecific cultures used traditionally, but had lower activity against model normal cells.

Pegram H.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Andrews D.M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Smyth M.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Darcy P.K.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Kershaw M.H.,Cancer Immunology Research Program
Immunology and Cell Biology | Year: 2011

Natural killer (NK) cells are potent immune effector cells that can respond to infection and cancer, as well as allowing maternal adaptation to pregnancy. In response to malignant transformation or pathogenic invasion, NK cells can secrete cytokine and may be directly cytolytic, as well as exerting effects indirectly through other cells of the immune system. To recognize and respond to inflamed or infected tissues, NK cells express a variety of activating and inhibitory receptors including NKG2D, Ly49 or KIR, CD94-NKG2 heterodimers and natural cytotoxicity receptors, as well as co-stimulatory receptors. These receptors recognize cellular stress ligands as well as major histocompatibility complex class I and related molecules, which can lead to NK cell responses. Importantly, NK cells must remain tolerant of healthy tissue, and some of these receptors can also prevent activation of NK cells. In this review, we describe the expression of prominent NK cell receptors, as well as expression of their ligands and their role in immune responses. In addition, we describe the main signaling pathways used by NK cell receptors. Although we now appreciate that NK cell biology is more complicated than first thought, there are still facets of their biology that remain unclear. These will be highlighted and discussed in this review. © 2011 Australasian Society for Immunology Inc. All rights reserved.

Stewart T.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Smyth M.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews | Year: 2011

The status of a host's immune response influences both the development and progression of a malignancy such that immune responses can have both pro- and anti-tumorigenic effects. Cancer immunotherapy is a form of treatment that aims to improve the ability of a cancer-bearing individual to reject the tumor immunologically. However, antitumor immunity elicited by the host or by immunotherapeutic strategies, can be actively attenuated by mechanisms that limit the strength and/or duration of immune responses, including the presence of immunoregulatory cell types or the production of immunosuppressive factors. As our knowledge of tumor-induced immune suppression increases, it has become obvious that these mechanisms are probably a major barrier to effective therapy. The identification of multiple mechanisms of tumor-induced immune suppression also provides a range of novel targets for new cancer therapies. Given the vital role that a host's immune response is known to play in cancer progression, therapies that target immune suppressive mechanisms have the potential to enhance anticancer immune responses thus leading to better immune surveillance and the limitation of tumor escape. In this review, mechanisms of tumor-associated immune suppression have been divided into four forms that we have designated as (1) regulatory cells; (2) cytokines/chemokines; (3) T cell tolerance/exhaustion and (4) metabolic. We discuss select mechanisms representing each of these forms of immunosuppression that have been shown to aid tumors in evading host immune surveillance and overview therapeutic strategies that have been recently devised to "suppress these suppressors." © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Li M.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Knight D.A.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Smyth M.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Stewart T.J.,Cancer Immunology Research Program
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2012

Cancer stem cells (CSC) are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy and play a significant role in cancer recurrence and metastatic disease. It is therefore important to identify alternative strategies, such as immunotherapies that can be used to control this refractory population. A CD44?CD24-/low subpopulation of cells within the B6 PyMT-MMTV transgenic mouse-derived AT-3 mammary carcinoma cell line was identified, which had CSC-like characteristics, including pluripotency and a resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. Therefore, unlike xenograph models that require immunocompromised settings, this novel system may provide a means to study immune-mediated responses against CSC-like cells. The immunobiology of the AT-3 CSC-like cell population was studied by their surface molecule expression profile and their sensitivity to specified cell death pathways. Comparable levels of Rae-1, CD155, CD54 and higher levels of Fas and DR5 were expressed on the AT-3 CSC-like cells compared to non-CSC-like tumor cells. Expression correlated with an in vitro sensitivity to cell death by NK cells or through the ligation of the death receptors (Fas or DR5), by their ligands or anti-Fas and anti-DR5 mAbs. Indeed, compared to the rest of the AT-3 tumor cells, the CD44?CD24-/low subpopulation of cells were more sensitive to both Fas- and TRAIL-mediated cell death pathways. Therefore, despite the refractory nature of CSC to other conventional therapies, these CSC-like cells were not inherently resistant to specified forms of immune-mediated cell death. These results encourage the continued investigation into immunotherapeutic strategies as a means of controlling breast CSC, particularly through their cell death pathways. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

Westwood J.A.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Kershaw M.H.,Cancer Immunology Research Program | Kershaw M.H.,University of Melbourne
Journal of Leukocyte Biology | Year: 2010

Adoptive immunotherapy can induce dramatic tumor regressions in patients with melanoma or viral-induced malignancies, but extending this approach to many common cancers has been hampered by a lack of naturally occurring tumor-specific T cells. In this review, we describe recent advances in the genetic modification of T cells using genes encoding cell-surface receptors specific for tumor-associated antigen. Using genetic modification, the many functional properties of T cells, including cytokine secretion and cytolytic capacity, are redirected from their endogenous specificity toward the elimination of tumor cells. Advances in gene design, vectors, and cell production are discussed, and details of the progress in clinical application of this approach are provided. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

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