Unique potential of 4-1BB agonist antibody to promote durable regression of HPV+ tumors when combined with an E6/E7 peptide vaccine.
ABSTRACT: Antibody modulation of T-cell coinhibitory (e.g., CTLA-4) or costimulatory (e.g., 4-1BB) receptors promotes clinical responses to a variety of cancers. Therapeutic cancer vaccination, in contrast, has produced limited clinical benefit and no curative therapies. The E6 and E7 oncoproteins of human papilloma virus (HPV) drive the majority of genital cancers, and many oropharyngeal tumors. We discovered 15-19 amino acid peptides from HPV-16 E6/E7 for which induction of T-cell immunity correlates with disease-free survival in patients treated for high-grade cervical neoplasia. We report here that intranasal vaccination with these peptides and the adjuvant alpha-galactosylceramide elicits systemic and mucosal T-cell responses leading to reduced HPV(+) TC-1 tumor growth and prolonged survival in mice. We hypothesized that the inability of these T cells to fully reject established tumors resulted from suppression in the tumor microenvironment which could be ameliorated through checkpoint modulation. Combining this E6/E7 peptide vaccine with checkpoint blockade produced only modest benefit; however, coadministration with a 4-1BB agonist antibody promoted durable regression of established genital TC-1 tumors. Relative to other therapies tested, this combination of vaccine and α4-1BB promoted the highest CD8(+) versus regulatory FoxP3(+) T-cell ratios, elicited 2- to 5-fold higher infiltration by E7-specific CTL, and evoked higher densities of highly cytotoxic TcEO (T cytotoxic Eomesodermin) CD8 (>70-fold) and ThEO (T helper Eomesodermin) CD4 (>17-fold) T cells. These findings have immediate clinical relevance both in terms of the direct clinical utility of the vaccine studied and in illustrating the potential of 4-1BB antibody to convert therapeutic E6/E7 vaccines already in clinical trials into curative therapies.
Project description:Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. Persistent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered to be the etiological factor for cervical cancer. Therefore, an effective vaccine against HPV infections may lead to the control of cervical cancer. An ideal HPV vaccine should aim to generate both humoral immune response to prevent new infections as well as cell-mediated immunity to eliminate established infection or HPV-related disease. In the current study, we have generated a potential preventive and therapeutic HPV DNA vaccine using human calreticulin (CRT) linked to HPV16 early proteins, E6 and E7 and the late protein L2 (hCRTE6E7L2). We found that vaccination with hCRTE6E7L2 DNA vaccine induced a potent E6/E7-specific CD8+ T cell immune response, resulting in a significant therapeutic effect against E6/E7 expressing tumor cells. In addition, vaccination with hCRTE6E7L2 DNA generated significant L2-specific neutralizing antibody responses, protecting against pseudovirion infection. Thus, the hCRTE6E7L2 DNA vaccines are capable of generating potent preventive and therapeutic effects in vaccinated mice. Our data has significant clinical implications.
Project description:Cervical cancer is a public health concern as it represents the second cause of cancer death in women worldwide. High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) are the etiologic agents, and HPV E6 and/or E7 oncogene-specific therapeutic vaccines are under development to treat HPV-related lesions in women. Whether the use of mucosal routes of immunization may be preferable for inducing cell-mediated immune responses able to eradicate genital tumors is still debated because of the uniqueness of the female genital mucosa (GM) and the limited experimentation. Here, we compared the protective activity resulting from immunization of mice via intranasal (i.n.), intravaginal (IVAG) or subcutaneous (s.c.) routes with an adjuvanted HPV type 16 E7 polypeptide vaccine. Our data show that s.c. and i.n. immunizations elicited similar frequencies and avidity of TetE71CD81 and E7-specific Interferon-gamma-secreting cells in the GM, whereas slightly lower immune responses were induced by IVAG immunization. In a novel orthotopic murine model, both s.c. and i.n. immunizations allowed for complete long-term protection against genital E7-expressing tumor challenge. However, only s.c. immunization induced complete regression of already established genital tumors. This suggests that the higher E7-specific systemic response observed after s.c. immunization may contribute to the regression of growing genital tumors, whereas local immune responses may be sufficient to impede genital challenges. Thus, our data show that for an efficiently adjuvanted protein-based vaccine, parenteral vaccination route is superior to mucosal vaccination route for inducing regression of established genital tumors in a murine model of HPV-associated genital cancer.
Project description:Cervical cancer is a high-incidence female cancer most commonly caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection of the genital mucosa. Immunotherapy targeting HPV-derived tumor antigens (TAs) has been widely studied in animal models and in patients. Because the female genital tract is a portal for the entry of HPV and a highly compartmentalized system, the development of topical vaginal immunotherapy in an orthotopic cancer model would provide an ideal therapeutic. Thus, we examined whether flagellin, a potent mucosal immunomodulator, could be used as an adjuvant for a topical therapeutic vaccine for female genital cancer. Intravaginal (IVAG) co-administration of the E6/E7 peptides with flagellin resulted in tumor suppression and long-term survival of tumor-bearing mice. In contrast to IVAG vaccination, intranasal (IN) or subcutaneous (SC) immunization did not induce significant tumor suppression in the same model. The vaginal adjuvant effect of the flagellin was completely abolished in Toll-like receptor-5 (TLR5) knock-out mice. IVAG immunization with the E6/E7 peptides plus flagellin induced the accumulation of CD4+ and CD8+ cells and the expression of T cell activation-related genes in the draining genital lymph nodes (gLNs). The co-administered flagellin elicited antigen-specific IFN? production in the gLNs and spleen. The intravaginally administered flagellin was found in association with CD11c+ cells in the gLNs. Moreover, after immunization with a flagellin and the E6/E7 peptides, the TLR5 expression in gLN cells was significantly upregulated. These results suggest that flagellin serves as a potent vaginal adjuvant for a therapeutic peptide cancer vaccine through the activation of TLR5 signaling.
Project description:A vaccine comprising human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) L2, E6 and E7 in a single tandem fusion protein (termed TA-CIN) has the potential advantages of both broad cross-protection against HPV transmission through induction of L2 antibodies able to cross neutralize different HPV types and of therapy by stimulating T cell responses targeting HPV16 early proteins. However, patients vaccinated with TA-CIN alone develop weak HPV neutralizing antibody and E6/E7-specific T cell responses. Here we test TA-CIN formulated along with the adjuvant GPI-0100, a semi-synthetic quillaja saponin analog that was developed to promote both humoral and cellular immune responses. Subcutaneous administration to mice of TA-CIN (20 microg) with 50microg GPI-0100, three times at biweekly intervals, elicited high titer HPV16 neutralizing serum antibody, robust neutralizing titers for other HPV16-related types, including HPV31 and HPV58, and neutralized to a lesser extent other genital mucosatropic papillomaviruses like HPV18, HPV45, HPV6 and HPV11. Notably, vaccination with TA-CIN in GPI-0100 protected mice from cutaneous HPV16 challenge as effectively as HPV16 L1 VLP without adjuvant. Formulation of TA-CIN with GPI-0100 enhanced the production of E7-specific, interferon gamma producing CD8(+) T cell precursors by 20-fold. Vaccination with TA-CIN in GPI-0100 also completely prevented tumor growth after challenge with 5x10(4) HPV16-transformed TC-1 tumor cells, whereas vaccination with TA-CIN alone delayed tumor growth. Furthermore, three monthly vaccinations with 125 microg of TA-CIN and 1000 microg GPI-0100 were well tolerated by pigtail macaques and induced both HPV16 E6/E7-specific T cell responses and serum antibodies that neutralized all HPV types tested.
Project description:High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) are responsible for genital and oral cancers associated with the expression of the E6/E7 HPV oncogenes. Therapeutic vaccines targeting those oncogenes can only partially control tumor progression, highlighting the necessity to investigate different treatment strategies. Using the genital orthotopic HPV16 TC-1 model, herein we sequentially investigated in progressively more stringent settings the effects of systemic administration of carboplatin/paclitaxel (C?+?P) chemotherapy combined with HPV16-E7 synthetic long peptide (E7LP) vaccination, followed by intravaginal immunostimulation with the synthetic toll-like-receptor-9 agonist CpG. Our data show that systemic delivery of C?+?P prior to E7LP vaccination significantly increased mice survival. This survival benefit was associated with both reduced genital tumor growth at the time of vaccination, and a decreased infiltration of Ly6G myeloid cells and tumor-associated macrophages. Adding intravaginal CpG, which results in increased E7-specific CD8 T cells locally, to E7LP vaccination and the chemotherapy formed a tri-therapy, which significantly increased mice survival as compared to any of the dual treatments. When the tri-therapy was further refined by using a recently optimized nanoparticle-conjugated E7LP vaccine, even larger end-stage genital-TC-1 tumors responded, with 90% of mice showing a survival benefit as compared to 30% of mice with the tri-therapy involving the traditional E7LP 'liquid' vaccine. C?+?P is commonly used to treat cervical cancer patients and its combination with E7/E6 vaccination is currently being tested in a phase I/II trial (NCT02128126). Our data suggests that new vaccine formulations combined with local immunostimulation and standard-of-care chemotherapy have promise to further benefit patients with HPV-associated cancer.
Project description:Two viral oncoproteins, E6 and E7, are expressed in all human papillomavirus (HPV)-infected cells, from initial infection in the genital tract to metastatic cervical cancer. Intramuscular vaccination of women with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2/3) twice with a naked DNA vaccine, pNGVL4a-sig/E7(detox)/HSP70, and a single boost with HPVE6/E7 recombinant vaccinia vaccine (TA-HPV) elicited systemic HPV-specific CD8 T-cell responses that could traffic to the lesion and was associated with regression in some patients (NCT00788164).Here, we examine whether alteration of this vaccination regimen by administration of TA-HPV vaccination in the cervicovaginal tract, rather than intramuscular (IM) delivery, can more effectively recruit antigen-specific T cells in an orthotopic syngeneic mouse model of HPV16(+) cervical cancer (TC-1 luc).We found that pNGVL4a-sig/E7(detox)/HSP70 vaccination followed by cervicovaginal vaccination with TA-HPV increased accumulation of total and E7-specific CD8(+) T cells in the cervicovaginal tract and better controlled E7-expressing cervicovaginal TC-1 luc tumor than IM administration of TA-HPV. Furthermore, the E7-specific CD8(+) T cells in the cervicovaginal tract generated through the cervicovaginal route of vaccination expressed the ?4?7 integrin and CCR9, which are necessary for the homing of the E7-specific CD8(+) T cells to the cervicovaginal tract. Finally, we show that cervicovaginal vaccination with TA-HPV can induce potent local HPV-16 E7 antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cell immune responses regardless of whether an HPV DNA vaccine priming vaccination was administered IM or within the cervicovaginal tract.Our results support future clinical translation using cervicovaginal TA-HPV vaccination.
Project description:This chapter reviews the current treatment of chronic and neoplastic human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated conditions and the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Surgical excision of HPV-associated lower genital tract neoplasia is very successful but largely depends on secondary prevention programmes for identification of disease. Only high-risk HPV-driven chronic, pre-neoplastic lesions and some very early cancers cannot be successfully treated by surgical procedures alone. Chemoradiation therapy of cervical cancer contributes to the 66-79% cervical cancer survival at 5 years. Outlook for those patients with persistent or recurrent cervical cancer following treatment is very poor. Topical agents such as imiquimod (immune response modifier), cidofovir (inhibition of viral replication; induction apoptosis) or photodynamic therapy (direct damage of tumour and augmentation of anti-tumour immunity) have all shown some useful efficacy (~50-60%) in treatment of high grade vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN). Provider administered treatments of genital warts include cryotherapy, trichloracetic acid, or surgical removal which has the highest primary clearance rate. Patient applied therapies include podophyllotoxin and imiquimod. Recurrence after "successful" treatment is 30-40%. Further improvements could derive from a rational combination of current therapy with new drugs targeting molecular pathways mediated by HPV in cancer. Small molecule inhibitors targeting the DNA binding activities of HPV E1/E2 or the anti-apoptotic consequences of E6/E7 oncogenes are in preclinical development. Proteasome and histone deacetylase inhibitors, which can enhance apoptosis in HPV positive tumour cells, are being tested in early clinical trials. Chronic high-risk HPV infection/neoplasia is characterised by systemic and/or local immune suppressive regulatory or escape factors. Recently two E6/E7 vaccines have shown some clinical efficacy in high grade VIN patients and this correlated with strong and broad systemic HPV-specific T cell response and modulation of key local immune factors. Treatments that can shift the balance of immune effectors locally in combination with vaccination are now being tested. This article forms part of a special supplement entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012.
Project description:It is well known that human papillomavirus (HPV) is the causative agent of cervical cancer. The integration of HPV genes into the host genome causes the upregulation of E6 and E7 oncogenes. E6 and E7 proteins inactivate and degrade tumor suppressors p53 and retinoblastoma, respectively, leading to malignant progression. HPV E6 and E7 antigens are ideal targets for the development of therapies for cervical cancer and precursor lesions because they are constitutively expressed in infected cells and malignant tumors but not in normal cells and they are essential for cell immortalization and transformation. Immunotherapies are being developed to target E6/E7 by eliciting antigen-specific immune responses. siRNA technologies target E6/E7 by modulating the expression of the oncoproteins. Proteasome inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors are being developed to indirectly target E6/E7 by interfering with their oncogenic activities. The ultimate goal for HPV-targeted therapies is the progression through clinical trials to commercialization.
Project description:Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are particularly problematic for HIV + and solid organ transplant patients with compromised CD4+ T cell-dependent immunity as they produce more severe and progressive disease compared to healthy individuals. There are no specific treatments for chronic HPV infection, resulting in an urgent unmet need for a modality that is safe and effective for both immunocompromised and otherwise normal patients with recalcitrant disease. DNA vaccination is attractive because it avoids the risks of administration of live vectors to immunocompromised patients, and can induce potent HPV-specific cytotoxic T cell responses. We have developed a DNA vaccine (pNGVL4a-hCRTE6E7L2) encoding calreticulin (CRT) fused to E6, E7 and L2 proteins of HPV-16, the genotype associated with approximately 90% vaginal, vulvar, anal, penile and oropharyngeal HPV-associated cancers and the majority of cervical cancers. Administration of the DNA vaccine by intramuscular (IM) injection followed by electroporation induced significantly greater HPV-specific immune responses compared to IM injection alone or mixed with alum. Furthermore, pNGVL4a-hCRTE6E7L2 DNA vaccination via electroporation of mice carrying an intravaginal HPV-16 E6/E7-expressing syngeneic tumor demonstrated more potent therapeutic effects than IM vaccination alone. Of note, administration of the DNA vaccine by IM injection followed by electroporation elicited potent E6 and E7-specific CD8+ T cell responses and antitumor effects despite CD4+ T cell-depletion, although no antibody response was detected. While CD4+ T cell-depletion did reduce the E6 and E7-specific CD8+ T cell response, it remained sufficient to prevent subcutaneous tumor growth and to eliminate circulating tumor cells in a model of metastatic HPV-16+ cancer. Thus, the antibody response was CD4-dependent, whereas CD4+ T cell help enhanced the E6/E7-specific CD8+ T cell immunity, but was not required. Taken together, our data suggest that pNGVL4a-hCRTE6E7L2 DNA vaccination via electroporation warrants testing in otherwise healthy patients and those with compromised CD4+ T cell immunity to treat HPV-16-associated anogenital disease and cancer.