Article Text

Download PDFPDF

1147-H Novel immunotherapy regiment approach for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDCA) using human MUC1 transgenic mice ( model: optimizing conditions for MVA vaccine evaluation
  1. Larissa Silva1,
  2. Sreenivasa Oruganti2,
  3. Manuel Rodriguez Cardona1 and
  4. Pinku Mukherjee1
  1. 1UNCC, Charlotte, NC
  2. 2GeoVax Labs, Atlanta, GA
  • Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (JITC) preprint. The copyright holder for this preprint are the authors/funders, who have granted JITC permission to display the preprint. All rights reserved. No reuse allowed without permission.


Background Effective cancer therapy is still a challenge, and there is a strong need for remarkable therapeutic outcomes. Among the most compelling new cancer approaches are targeted therapies, specialized cancer vaccines (MTI, MVA),100-mer peptide, and immune checkpoint blocking (ICI) antibodies association.1 Our initial studies showed that established tumors in mice derived from tumor cell lines expressing a tumor-associated form of MUC1 (TA-MUC1), a cell-surface antigen that presents a tumor-specific glycan structure that is hidden on normal cells, treated with a combination of MTI and ICI, reduce tumor growth and extend survival compared to either agent alone.2 We are optimizing the conditions for tumor growth kinetics on the human MUC1 transgenic mice (, an immune-competent in vivo model, to evaluate a vaccine regiment that can produce a broad spectrum of anti-tumor immune responses.

Methods Two mouse PDCA cell lines (KCM-Luc, Panc02.MUC1) were characterized for a high MUC1 and PD-L1 expression and for tumor growth kinetics in mice model (N= 8, females and males). The cells were injected subcutaneously in the right flank of the mice. The tumor size was measured with calipers once a week with routine surveillance of body weight until the tumor reached 20x20mm3. The serum was collected from the tail at day 7. The survival interval was analyzed, and samples (serum, tumor, spleen, and lymph nodes) were collected for further analysis. The efficacy was measured as reduction or clearance of tumors and survival, the vaccination regimen for KCM-Luc and Panc02.MUC1 are described below (table 1 and 2).

Results We characterized the cells for high levels of MUC1 and PD-L1 expression (>70%). KCM-Luc the best growth kinetics and vaccine efficacy was with 125x103 cells/mice. The combination of MVA-MUC1 with 100-mer and anti-PD1 showed better results and increased animal survival than the non-treated group (figure 1). However, the growth kinetics do not allowed the complete vaccine regiment evaluation, so we used Panc02.MUC1 cell line,3 showed the best tumor growth kinetics with 0.5x106 cells/mice (figure 2), no significative changes in the body weight, and effective anti-PD-L1 results in prolonged animal survival and slow tumor growth were reported. These results are consistent with previous researchers4 and will allow the start of the new vaccination regimen (table 2).

Conclusions Those are initial data to optimize the conditions for the next experiments with vaccine evaluation associated with adjuvant drugs to understand the mechanisms of protection investigation cellular and antibody immune responses.

Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge UNC at Charlotte and GeoVax company.


  1. Ali A, Chianese U, Papulino C, Toraldo A, Abakar MEA, Passaro E, Cennamo R, Del Gaudio N, Altucci L, Benedetti R. Metabolic pathways as a novel landscape in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cancers 2022;14:3799. 14153799

  2. Pinku Mukherjee, Gargi D Basu, Teresa L Tinder, Durai B Subramani, Judy M Bradley, Million Arefayene, Todd Skaar, Giovanni De Petris. Progression of pancreatic adenocarcinoma is significantly impeded with a combination of vaccine and COX-2 inhibition1. J Immunol 1 January 2009;182(1):216–224.

  3. Mehla K, Tremayne J, Grunkemeyer JA, O’Connell KA, Steele MM, Caffrey TC, Zhu X, Yu F, Singh PK, Schultes BC, Madiyalakan R, Nicodemus CF, Hollingsworth MA. Combination of mAb-AR20.5, anti-PD-L1 and PolyICLC inhibits tumor progression and prolongs survival of MUC1.Tg mice challenged with pancreatic tumors. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018 Mar;67(3):445–457. doi: 10.1007/s00262-017-2095-7. Epub 2017 Dec 4. PMID: 29204701; PMCID: PMC7108804.

  4. Sagiv-Barfi I, Kohrt HE, Czerwinski DK, Ng PP, Chang BY, Levy R. Therapeutic antitumor immunity by checkpoint blockade is enhanced by ibrutinib, an inhibitor of both BTK and ITK. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Mar 3;112(9):E966–72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500712112. Epub 2015 Feb 17. PMID: 25730880; PMCID: PMC4352777.

Ethics Approval This study was approved by the protocol institution’s Ethics Board, IACUC (Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), approval number 22-018.

Abstract 1147-H Table 1

Evaluation of vaccine regimens to treat pancreatic tumors immunization and sampling schedule for KCM-Luc tumor cells vaccination regiment

Abstract 1147-H Figure 1

KCM-Luc tumor growth kinetics and vaccination regiment evaluation

Abstract 1147-H Table 2

Immunization and sampling schedule Panc02.MUC1 tumor cells vaccination regiment

Abstract 1147-H Figure 2

Panc02.MUC1 tumor growth kinetics evaluation

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.