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San Diego, CA, United States

Pos Z.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Selleri S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Spivey T.L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Wang J.K.,Center for Drug Evaluation and Research | And 11 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Limited responsiveness to IFN-α in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected African-Americans compared to European Americans (AAs vs. EAs) hinders the management of HCV. Here, we studied healthy non-HCV-infected AA and EA subjects to test whether immune cell response to IFN-α is determined directly by race. We compared baseline and IFN-α-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-1, STAT-2, STAT-3, STAT-4, and STAT-5 protein and phosphorylation levels in purified T cells, global transcription, and a genomewide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) profile of healthy AA and EA blood donors. In contrast to HCV-infected individuals, healthy AAs displayed no evidence of reduced STAT activation or IFN-α-stimulated gene expression compared to EAs. Although >200 genes reacted to IFN-α treatment, race had no impact on any of them. The only gene differentially expressed by the two races (NUDT3, P < 10-7) was not affected by IFN-α and bears no known relationship to IFN-α signaling or HCV pathogenesis. Genomewide analysis confirmed the self-proclaimed racial attribution of most donors, and numerous race-associated SNPs were identified within loci involved in IFN-α signaling, although they clearly did not affect responsiveness in the absence of HCV. We conclude that racial differences observed in HCVinfected patients in the responsiveness to IFN-α are unrelated to inherent racial differences in IFN-α signaling and more likely due to polymorphisms affecting the hosts' response to HCV, which in turn may lead to a distinct disease pathophysiology responsible for altered IFN signaling and treatment response. Source

Ma W.,University of California at San Diego | Chen M.,University of California at San Diego | Kaushal S.,University of California at San Diego | McElroy M.,University of California at San Diego | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Nanomedicine

The peptide vaccine clinical trials encountered limited success because of difficulties associated with stability and delivery, resulting in inefficient antigen presentation and low response rates in patients with cancer. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel delivery approach for tumor antigenic peptides in order to elicit enhanced immune responses using poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles (PLGA-NPs) encapsulating tumor antigenic peptides. PLGA-NPs were made using the double emulsion-solvent evaporation method. Artificial antigen-presenting cells were generated by human dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with PLGA-NPs encapsulating tumor antigenic peptide(s). The efficiency of the antigen presentation was measured by interferon-γ ELISpot assay (Vector Laboratories, Burlingame, CA). Antigenspecific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were generated and evaluated by CytoTox 96® Non-Radioactive Cytotoxicity Assay (Promega, Fitchburg, WI). The efficiency of the peptide delivery was compared between the methods of emulsification in incomplete Freund's adjuvant and encapsulation in PLGA-NPs. Our results showed that most of the PLGA-NPs were from 150 nm to 500 nm in diameter, and were negatively charged at pH 7.4 with a mean zeta potential of -15.53 ± 0.71 mV; the PLGA-NPs could be colocalized in human DCs in 30 minutes of incubation. Human DCs loaded with PLGA-NPs encapsulating peptide induced significantly stronger CTL cytotoxicity than those pulsed with free peptide, while human DCs loaded with PLGA-NPs encapsulating a three-peptide cocktail induced a significantly greater CTL response than those encapsulating a two-peptide cocktail. Most importantly, the peptide dose encapsulated in PLGA-NPs was 63 times less than that emulsified in incomplete Freund's adjuvant, but it induced a more powerful CTL response in vivo. These results demonstrate that the delivery of peptides encapsulated in PLGA-NPs is a promising approach to induce effective antitumor CTL responses in vivo. © 2012 Ma et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd. Source

Virotherapy using oncolytic vaccinia virus (VACV) strains is one promising new strategy for canine cancer therapy. In this study we describe the establishment of an in vivo model of canine soft tissue sarcoma (CSTS) using the new isolated cell line STSA-1 and the analysis of the virus-mediated oncolytic and immunological effects of two different Lister VACV LIVP1.1.1 and GLV-1h68 strains against CSTS. Cell culture data demonstrated that both tested VACV strains efficiently infected and destroyed cells of the canine soft tissue sarcoma line STSA-1. In addition, in our new canine sarcoma tumor xenograft mouse model, systemic administration of LIVP1.1.1 or GLV-1h68 viruses led to significant inhibition of tumor growth compared to control mice. Furthermore, LIVP1.1.1 mediated therapy resulted in almost complete tumor regression and resulted in long-term survival of sarcoma-bearing mice. The replication of the tested VACV strains in tumor tissues led to strong oncolytic effects accompanied by an intense intratumoral infiltration of host immune cells, mainly neutrophils. These findings suggest that the direct viral oncolysis of tumor cells and the virus-dependent activation of tumor-associated host immune cells could be crucial parts of anti-tumor mechanism in STSA-1 xenografts. In summary, the data showed that both tested vaccinia virus strains and especially LIVP1.1.1 have great potential for effective treatment of CSTS. Source

Metastatic tumor cells in body fluids are important targets for treatment, and critical surrogate markers for evaluating cancer prognosis and therapeutic response. Here we report, for the first time, that live metastatic tumor cells in blood samples from mice bearing human tumor xenografts and in blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with cancer were successfully detected using a tumor cell-specific recombinant vaccinia virus (VACV). In contrast to the FDA-approved CellSearch system, VACV detects circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a cancer biomarker-independent manner, thus, free of any bias related to the use of antibodies, and can be potentially a universal system for detection of live CTCs of any tumor type, not limited to CTCs of epithelial origin. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that VACV was effective in preventing and reducing circulating tumor cells in mice bearing human tumor xenografts. Importantly, a single intra-peritoneal delivery of VACV resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of tumor cells in the ascitic fluid from a patient with gastric cancer. Taken together, these results suggest VACV to be a useful tool for quantitative detection of live tumor cells in liquid biopsies as well as a potentially effective treatment for reducing or eliminating live tumor cells in body fluids of patients with metastatic disease. Source

Virotherapy on the basis of oncolytic vaccinia virus (VACV) strains is one novel approach for canine cancer therapy. In this study we described for the first time the characterization and the use of new VACV strain LIVP6.1.1 as an oncolytic agent against canine cancer in a panel of four canine cancer cell lines including: soft tissue sarcoma (STSA-1), melanoma (CHAS), osteosarcoma (D-17) and prostate carcinoma (DT08/40). Cell culture data demonstrated that LIVP6.1.1 efficiently infected and destroyed all four tested canine cancer cell lines. In two different xenograft models on the basis of the canine soft tissue sarcoma STSA-1 and the prostate carcinoma DT08/40 cell lines, a systemic administration of the LIVP6.1.1 virus was found to be safe and led to anti-tumor and immunological effects resulting in the significant reduction of tumor growth in comparison to untreated control mice. In summary, the pre-clinical evaluation has demonstrated the efficacy of LIVP6.1.1 for canine cancer therapy. Furthermore, a clinical trial with canine cancer patients has already been started. Source

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