Active immunotherapy of cancer with a nonreplicating recombinant fowlpox virus encoding a model tumor-associated antigen

Michael Wang, Vincenzo Bronte, Pauline W. Chen, Linda Gritz, Dennis Panicali, Steven A. Rosenberg, Nicholas P. Restifo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Some tumor cells express Ags that are potentially recognizable by T lymphocytes and yet do not elicit significant immune responses. To explore new immunotherapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing the recognition of these tumor-associated Ags (TAA), we developed an experimental mouse model consisting of a lethal clone of the BALB/c tumor line CT26 designated CT26.WT, which was transduced with the lacZ gene encoding β-galactosidase, to create CT26.CL25. The growth rate and lethality of CT26.CL25 and CT26.WT were virtually identical despite the expression by CT26.CL25 of the model tumor Ag in vivo. A recombinant fowlpox virus (rFPV), which is replication incompetent in mammalian cells, was constructed that expressed the model TAA, β-galactosidase, under the influence of the 40-kDa vaccinia virus early/late promoter. This recombinant, FPV.bg40k, functioned effectively in vivo as an immunogen, eliciting CD8+ T cells that could effectively lyse CT26.CL25 in vitro. FPV.bg40k protected mice from both subcutaneous and intravenous tumor challenge by CT26.CL25, and most surprisingly, mice bearing established 3- day pulmonary metastasis were found to have significant, Ag-specific decreases in tumor burden and prolonged survival after treatment with the rFPV. These observations constitute the first reported use of rFPV in the prevention and treatment of an experimental cancer and suggest that changing the context in which the immune system encounters a TAA can significantly and therapeutically alter the host immune response against cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4685-4692
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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