(1/4950) Expression of MAGE and GAGE in high-grade brain tumors: a potential target for specific immunotherapy and diagnostic markers.

The mRNA expression of the tumor-associated antigens MAGE and GAGE was examined in 60 high-grade brain tumors. This analysis was performed by using reverse transcription-PCR, Southern blotting, and sequencing. It was demonstrated that, of the eight GAGE genes, GAGE-2 and -7 were expressed in five of seven normal brains. Four groups of tumors--adult glioblastoma multiforme (n = 20), pediatric glioblastoma multiforme (n = 9), medulloblastomas (n = 15), and ependymomas (n = 14)--were analyzed for mRNA expression. The following frequencies were observed: MAGE-1, 0, 0, 13, and 0%, respectively; MAGE-2, 5, 11, 60, and 57%; MAGE-3 & -6, 0, 0, 13, and 0%; GAGE-1, 65, 11, 13, and 43%; and GAGE-3-6 and -8: 75, 78, 47, and 93%, respectively. Two unclassified tumors expressed GAGE-3-6 and -8 only. The absence of GAGE-1 expression in normal brain, its relatively high frequency of expression in high-grade brain tumors, and its unique 3' sequence, suggest it may represent a useful target for specific immunotherapy. The detection method of reverse transcription-PCR and Southern blotting may also be useful for rapid screening of biopsy specimens both for diagnostic purposes and to determine a patient's eligibility for specific immunotherapy.  (+info)

(2/4950) Immune surveillance against a solid tumor fails because of immunological ignorance.

Many peripheral solid tumors such as sarcomas and carcinomas express tumor-specific antigens that can serve as targets for immune effector T cells. Nevertheless, overall immune surveillance against such tumors seems relatively inefficient. We studied immune surveillance against a s.c. sarcoma expressing a characterized viral tumor antigen. Surprisingly, the tumor cells were capable of inducing a protective cytotoxic T cell response if transferred as a single-cell suspension. However, if they were transplanted as small tumor pieces, tumors readily grew. Tumor growth correlated strictly with (i) failure of tumor cells to reach the draining lymph nodes and (ii) absence of primed cytotoxic T cells. Cytotoxic T cells were not tolerant or deleted because a tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell response was readily induced in lymphoid tissue by immunization with virus or with tumor cells even in the presence of large tumors. Established tumors were rejected by vaccine-induced effector T cells if effector T cells were maintained by prolonged or repetitive vaccination, but not by single-dose vaccination. Thus, in addition to several other tumor-promoting parameters, some antigenic peripheral sarcomas-and probably carcinomas-may grow not because they anergize or tolerize tumor-specific T cells, but because such tumors are immunologically dealt with as if they were in a so-called immunologically privileged site and are ignored for too long.  (+info)

(3/4950) Systemic administration of interleukin 2 enhances the therapeutic efficacy of dendritic cell-based tumor vaccines.

We have reported previously that murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC) pulsed with whole tumor lysates can mediate potent antitumor immune responses both in vitro and in vivo. Because successful therapy was dependent on host immune T cells, we have now evaluated whether the systemic administration of the T cell stimulatory/growth promoting cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2) could enhance tumor lysate-pulsed DC-based immunizations to further promote protective immunity toward, and therapeutic rejection of, syngeneic murine tumors. In three separate approaches using a weakly immunogenic sarcoma (MCA-207), the systemic administration of nontoxic doses of recombinant IL-2 (20,000 and 40,000 IU/dose) was capable of mediating significant increases in the potency of DC-based immunizations. IL-2 could augment the efficacy of tumor lysate-pulsed DC to induce protective immunity to lethal tumor challenge as well as enhance splenic cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity and interferon-gamma production in these treated mice. Moreover, treatment with the combination of tumor lysate-pulsed DC and IL-2 could also mediate regressions of established pulmonary 3-day micrometastases and 7-day macrometastases as well as established 14- and 28-day s.c. tumors, leading to either significant cure rates or prolongation in overall survival. Collectively, these findings show that nontoxic doses of recombinant IL-2 can potentiate the antitumor effects of tumor lysate-pulsed DC in vivo and provide preclinical rationale for the use of IL-2 in DC-based vaccine strategies in patients with advanced cancer.  (+info)

(4/4950) Advances in the biological therapy and gene therapy of malignant disease.

Biological and gene therapy of cancer have become important components of clinical cancer research. Advances in this area are based on evidence for the presence of tumor antigens, antitumor immune responses, evasion of host control by tumors, and the recognition of host defense failure in cancer patients. These mechanisms are being corrected or exploited in the development of biological and gene therapy. Over the last decade, 9 biological therapies have received Food and Drug Administration approval, and another 12 appear promising and will likely be approved in the next few years. Our approach to gene therapy has been to allogenize tumors by the direct intratumoral injection of HLA-B7/beta2-microglobulin genes as plasmid DNA in a cationic lipid into patients with malignant melanoma. In four Phase I studies, we found a 36% response by the local injected tumor and a 19% systemic antitumor response. In other cancers, gene transfer, expression, and an intratumoral T-cell response were seen, but no clinical response was seen. A variety of follow-up studies with HLA-B7 and other genes are planned. Evasion of host control is now a major target of gene therapy. Strategies to overcome this include up-regulation of MHC and introduction of cell adhesion molecules into tumor cells, suppression of transforming growth factor and interleukin 10 production by tumor cells, and blockade of the fas ligand-fas interaction between tumor cells and attacking lymphocytes. With these approaches, it seems likely that gene therapy may become the fifth major modality of cancer treatment in the next decade.  (+info)

(5/4950) CD40-activated B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells for tumor immunotherapy: stimulation of allogeneic versus autologous T cells generates different types of effector cells.

Although spontaneous remissions may rarely occur in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), T cells do generally not develop a clinically significant response against B-CLL cells. Because this T-cell anergy against B-CLL cells may be caused by the inability of B-CLL cells to present tumor-antigens efficiently, we examined the possibility of upregulating critical costimulatory (B7-1 and B7-2) and adhesion molecules (ICAM-1 and LFA-3) on B-CLL cells to improve antigen presentation. The stimulation of B-CLL cells via CD40 by culture on CD40L expressing feeder cells induced a strong upregulation of costimulatory and adhesion molecules and turned the B-CLL cells into efficient antigen-presenting cells (APCs). CD40-activated B-CLL (CD40-CLL) cells stimulated the proliferation of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Interestingly, stimulation of allogeneic versus autologous T cells resulted in the expansion of different effector populations. Allogeneic CD40-CLL cells allowed for the expansion of specific CD8(+) cytolytic T cells (CTL). In marked contrast, autologous CD40-CLL cells did not induce a relevant CTL response, but rather stimulated a CD4(+), Th1-like T-cell population that expressed high levels of CD40L and released interferon-gamma in response to stimulation by CD40-CLL cells. Together, these results support the view that CD40 activation of B-CLL cells might reverse T-cell anergy against the neoplastic cell clone, although the character of the immune response depends on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) background on which the CLL or tumor antigens are presented. These findings may have important implications for the design of cellular immunotherapies for B-CLL.  (+info)

(6/4950) Interleukin-2 gene transfer into human transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder.

Transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder is one of the human cancers most responsive to immunotherapy, and local interleukin-2 (IL-2) production appears to be an important requirement for immunotherapy to be effective. In this study, we engineered two human bladder cancer cell lines (RT112 and EJ) to constitutively release human IL-2 by retroviral vector-mediated gene transfer. Following infection and selection, stable and consistent production of biologically active IL-2 was demonstrated at both the mRNA and the protein level. Morphology, in vitro growth rate and proliferation, as well as other cytokine gene mRNA or membrane adhesion receptor expression, were not altered in IL-2 transduced cells as compared to their parental or control vector-infected counterparts. Moreover, IL-2 engineered cells lost their tumorigenicity into nu/nu mice and the mechanism of rejection appeared to involve multiple host effector cell populations, among which a prominent role was played by neutrophils and radiosensitive cells. These findings may offer support to the development of an IL-2-based gene therapy approach to human bladder cancer.  (+info)

(7/4950) Antitumor and immunotherapeutic effects of activated invasive T lymphoma cells that display short-term interleukin 1alpha expression.

Expression of cytokines in malignant cells represents a novel approach for therapeutic treatment of tumors. Previously, we demonstrated the immunostimulatory effectiveness of interleukin 1alpha (IL-1alpha) gene transfer in experimental fibrosarcoma tumors. Here, we report the antitumor and immunotherapeutic effects of short-term expression of IL-1alpha by malignant T lymphoma cells. Activation in culture of T lymphoma cells with lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages induces the expression of IL-1alpha. The short-term expression of IL-1alpha persists in the malignant T cells for a few days (approximately 3-6 days) after termination of the in vitro activation procedure and, thus, has the potential to stimulate antitumor immune responses in vivo. As an experimental tumor model, we used the RO1 invasive T lymphoma cell line. Upon i.v. inoculation, these cells invade the vertebral column and compress the spinal cord, resulting in hind leg paralysis and death of the mice. Activated RO1 cells, induced to express IL-1alpha in a short-term manner, manifested reduced tumorigenicity: approximately 75% of the mice injected with activated RO1 cells remained tumor free. IL-1 was shown to be essential for the eradication of activated T lymphoma cells because injection of activated RO1 cells together with IL-1-specific inhibitors, i.e., the IL-1 receptor antagonist or the M 20 IL-1 inhibitor, reversed reduced tumorigenicity patterns and led to progressive tumor growth and death of the mice. Furthermore, activated RO1 cells could serve as a treatment by intervening in the growth of violent RO1 cells after tumor take. Thus, when activated RO1 cells were injected 6 or 9 days after the inoculation of violent cells, mortality was significantly reduced. IL-1alpha, in its unique membrane-associated form, in addition to its cytosolic and secreted forms, may represent a focused adjuvant for potentiating antitumor immune responses at low levels of expression, below those that are toxic to the host. Further assessment of the immunotherapeutic potential of short-term expression of IL-1alpha in activated tumor cells may allow its improved application in the treatment of malignancies.  (+info)

(8/4950) Two neutralizing human anti-RSV antibodies: cloning, expression, and characterization.

BACKGROUND: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is a major problem in the newborn and aging populations. Fully human monoclonal antibodies with the ability to neutralize RSV could have a major impact on the immunotherapy of the disease. The generation of human antibodies has been difficult because there exists no general way to activate B cells against an antigen of choice in vitro. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human spleen cells from individuals exposed to RSV were used to repopulate SCID mice. Hu-SCID mice were boosted with RSV fusion (F)-protein and subsequently developed B cell tumors. The tumors were removed and cultured and subcloned in vitro, using a feeder layer of CD154-expressing T cells. Two of these tumors produced the antibodies designated RF-1 and RF-2. VL genes were isolated by standard PCR techniques, however, it was necessary to use high-temperature reverse transcriptase to clone the VH genes. RESULTS: RF-1 and RF-2 VH genes were both found to be closely related members of the VH2 family. Vk genes originated from the VK III family. RF-1 and RF-2 recombinant antibodies expressed in CHO cells (cRF-1 and cRF-2) were found to have affinities for RSV F-protein of 0.1 nM and 0.07 nM, respectively, and both were able to neutralize several A and B subtypes of RSV. CONCLUSION: The technique of immortalizing human B lymphocytes, by passage in SCID mice and expression as recombinant antibodies in CHO cells, provides a method by which high-affinity human antibodies can be developed for immunotherapy of viral diseases.  (+info)