Background KISIMATM platform allows the development of protein-based cancer vaccines able to induce a potent, tumor-specific CD8 and CD4 T cells response. While the cell penetrating peptide and peptide agonist for Toll like receptor (TLR)-2 and TLR-4 confer, respectively, the cell delivery and self-adjuvanticity properties, the multiantigenic domain allows the targeting of different cancer antigens, resulting in anti-tumoral efficacy in different murine models. Oncolytic viruses exert their therapeutic effects by a prolonged oncolytic action and the associated intratumoral inflammation as well as general immune activation. Arming oncolytic virus with tumor associated antigens can additionally enhance the tumor-specific T cell portion and therefore positively affect the balance of antitumor versus antiviral immune responses. The protein vaccine KISIMATM and the recombinant oncolytic virus VSV-GP-TAA (vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotyped with LCMV GP expressing tumor-associated antigens) are both promising vaccine candidates that offer a new cancer vaccination opportunity when combined in heterologous prime-boost regimen.
Materials and Methods Mice were vaccinated with subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of KISIMA-TAA vaccine and/or with intravenous injection of VSV-GP-TAA in different settings. Immunogenicity was assessed by measuring the peripheral antigen-specific response. Anti-tumoral efficacy as well as in depth monitoring of TILs and tumor microenvironment modulation were assessed following therapeutic vaccination in different tumor models. Additionally, transcriptome and immunohistochemistry analyses of the TC-1 tumor have been performed. Combination of heterologous prime-boost with checkpoint blockade PD-1 therapy has been assessed.
Results Priming with KISIMA-TAA followed by VSV-GP-TAA boost induced a large pool of polyfunctional and persistent antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells in the periphery as well as within the tumor in several tumor models. Frequencies of antigen specific T cells are significantly higher than the respective homologous vaccinations. Additionally, transcriptome analysis of a cold tumor model revealed profound changes in the tumor microenvironment upon heterologous vaccination, including a strong upregulation of gene signatures of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines required for antitumor immunity along with dendritic and T cell trafficking and activation. This was corroborated by flow-cytometric analysis of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes showing massive CD8+ and CD4+ T cell infiltration as well as repolarization of M2-like macrophages towards M1-phenotype. The presence of the CD8+ T cells within the tumor core was confirmed by immunohistochemistry analysis. Moreover, combining heterologous vaccination with checkpoint blockade further improved its therapeutic efficacy and the number of long-term survivors.
Conclusions The KISIMA/VSV-GP heterologous prime-boost approach holds great promise for patients with primary or acquired resistance to checkpoint blockade due to its ability to induce tumor-specific T cell, improve T cell infiltration and increase tumor inflammation, even in tumors with limited permissivity for the oncolytic virus.
Disclosure Information E. Belnoue: A. Employment (full or part-time); Significant; AMAL Therapeutics SA. K. Das: None. M. Rossi: A. Employment (full or part-time); Significant; AMAL Therapeutics SA. T. Hofer: None. S. Danklmaier: None. T. Nolden: A. Employment (full or part-time); Significant; Viratherapeutics GmbH. L. Schreiber: None. K. Angerer: None. J. Kimpel: None. S. Hoegler: None. L. Kenner: None. D. von Laer: None. K. Elbers: A. Employment (full or part-time); Significant; Viratherapeutics GmbH. G. Wollmann: None. M. Derouazi: A. Employment (full or part-time); Significant; AMAL Therapeutics SA.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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.