Cell-based vaccines for the stimulation of immunity to metastatic cancers

Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Beth A. Pulaski, Virginia K. Clements, Ling Qi, Matthew R. Pipeling, Laura A. Hanyok

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We are developing vaccines for inducing immunity to metastatic cancers. Although primary tumors are frequently cured by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, metastatic lesions often do not respond to these treatments or proliferate after conventional therapy is terminated. Vaccine therapy for established metastases as well as prophylactic vaccine treatment to prevent outgrowth of latent metastatic tumor cells would therefore be beneficial. Our goal is to activate CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes; however, we have focused on activating tumor-specific CD4+ T-helper lymphocytes because of their pivotal role as regulatory cells and in the generation of long-term immunological memory. The vaccines are based on the premise that tumor cells express potentially immunogenic antigens that could be targeted for T-cell activation, and that if appropriately genetically modified, tumor cells could be antigen presenting cells for these antigens. To facilitate direct antigen presentation to CD4+ T cells, tumor cells have been transfected with syngeneic major histocompatibility complex class II, co-stimulatory molecule, and/or superantigen genes. In vivo studies in three mouse tumor models demonstrate that vaccination protects against future challenge with wild-type tumor, cures some solid primary tumors, reduces established metastatic disease, and extends mean survival time. Antigen presentation studies demonstrate that in vivo vaccine efficacy is directly related to in vitro antigen presentation activity. The relevance of antigen presentation activity of the vaccines is further confirmed by in vivo studies demonstrating that during the immunization process, the vaccines directly present tumor-encoded antigens to CD4+ T lymphocytes. Adaptation of these vaccines for the treatment of human metastatic cancers is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalImmunological reviews
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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