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Strioga M.M.,Vilnius University | Darinskas A.,Vilnius University | Pasukoniene V.,Vilnius University | Mlynska A.,Vilnius University | And 3 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2014

Accumulation of firm evidence that clinically apparent cancer develops only when malignant cells manage to escape immunosurveillance led to the introduction of tumor immunotherapy strategies aiming to reprogramm the cancer-dysbalanced antitumor immunity and restore its capacity to control tumor growth. There are several immunotherapeutical strategies, among which specific active immunotherapy or therapeutic cancer vaccination is one of the most promising. It targets dendritic cells (DCs) which have a unique ability of inducing naive and central memory T cell-mediated immune response in the most efficient manner. DCs can be therapeutically targeted either in vivo/. in situ or by ex vivo manipulations followed by their re-injection back into the same patient. The majority of current DC targeting strategies are based on autologous or allogeneic tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) which possess various degrees of inherent tolerogenic potential. Therefore still limited efficacy of various tumor immunotherapy approaches may be attributed, among various other mechanisms, to the insufficient immunogenicity of self-protein-derived TAAs. Based on such an idea, the use of homologous xenogeneic antigens, derived from different species was suggested to overcome the natural immune tolerance to self TAAs. Xenoantigens are supposed to differ sufficiently from self antigens to a degree that renders them immunogenic, but at the same time preserves an optimal homology range with self proteins still allowing xenoantigens to induce cross-reactive T cells. Here we discuss the concept of xenogeneic vaccination, describe the cons and pros of autologous/allogeneic versus xenogeneic therapeutic cancer vaccines, present the results of various pre-clinical and several clinical studies and highlight the future perspectives of integrating xenovaccination into rapidly developing tumor immunotherapy regimens. © 2014. Source

Stathopoulos A.,Arlon Hospital | Stathopoulos A.,Epitopoietic Research Corporation ERC | Pretto C.,Epitopoietic Research Corporation ERC | Devillers L.,Epitopoietic Research Corporation ERC | And 10 more authors.
OncoImmunology | Year: 2012

The efficacy of immunotherapeutic TLR7/8 activation by resiquimod (R848) was evaluated in vivo, in the CNS-1 rat glioma model syngeneic to Lewis rats. The immune treatment was compared with cytotoxic cyclophosphamide chemotherapy, and as well, was compared with the combination cytotoxic and immunotherapeutic treatments. We found that parenteral treatment with the TLR7/8 agonist, resiquimod, eventually induced complete tumor regression of CNS-1 glioblastoma tumors in Lewis rats. Cyclophosphamide (CY) treatment also resulted in dramatic CNS-1 remission, while the combined treatment showed similar antitumor effects. The resiquimod efficacy appeared not to be associated with direct injury to CNS-1 growth, while CY proved to exert tumoricidal cytotoxicity to the tumor cells. Rats that were cured by treatment with the innate immune response modifier resiquimod proved to be fully immune to secondary CNS-1 tumor rechallenge. They all remained tumor-free and survived. In contrast, rats that controlled CNS-1 tumor growth as a result of CY treatment did not develop immune memory, as demonstrated by their failure to reject a secondary CNS-1 tumor challenge; they showed a concomittant outgrowth of the primary tumor upon secondary tumor exposure. Rechallenge of rats that initially contained tumor growth by combination chemo-immunotherapy also failed to reject secondary tumor challenge, indicating that the cytotoxic effect of the CY likely extended to the endogenous memory immune cells as well as to the tumor. These data demonstrate strong therapeutic antitumor efficacy for the immune response modifier resiquimod leading to immunological memory, and suggest that CY treatment, although effective as chemotherapeutic agent, may be deleterious to maintenance of long-term antitumor immune memory. These data also highlight the importance of the sequence in which a multi-modal therapy is administered. © 2012 Landes Bioscience. Source

Schijns V.E.J.C.,Wageningen University | Schijns V.E.J.C.,Epitopoietic Research Corporation ERC | Schijns V.E.J.C.,Epitopoietic Research Corporation ERC | Pretto C.,Epitopoietic Research Corporation ERC | And 13 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2015

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients have a poor prognosis. After tumor recurrence statistics suggest an imminent death within 1-4.5 months. Supportive preclinical data, from a rat model, provided the rational for a prototype clinical vaccine preparation, named Gliovac (or ERC 1671) composed of autologous antigens, derived from the patient's surgically removed tumor tissue, which is administered together with allogeneic antigens from glioma tissue resected from other GBM patients. We now report the first results of the Gliovac treatment for treatment-resistant GBM patients.Nine (9) recurrent GBM patients, after standard of care treatment, including surgery radio- and chemotherapy temozolomide, and for US patients, also bevacizumab (Avastin™), were treated under a compassionate use/hospital exemption protocol. Gliovac was given intradermally, together with human GM-CSF (Leukine®), and preceded by a regimen of regulatory T cell-depleting, low-dose cyclophosphamide.Gliovac administration in patients that have failed standard of care therapies showed minimal toxicity and enhanced overall survival (OS). Six-month (26 weeks) survival for the nine Gliovac patients was 100% versus 33% in control group. At week 40, the published overall survival was 10% if recurrent, reoperated patients were not treated. In the Gliovac treated group, the survival at 40 weeks was 77%. Our data suggest that Gliovac has low toxicity and a promising efficacy. A phase II trial has recently been initiated in recurrent, bevacizumab naïve GBM patients (NCT01903330). © 2015 The Authors. Source

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