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EpCAM peptide-primed dendritic cell vaccination confers significant anti-tumor immunity in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Feb. 2018 | Choi, Yoo Jin; Park, Seong-Joon; Park, You-Soo; Park, Hee Sung; Yang, Kwang Mo; Heo, Kyu
Cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) may play a key role in tumor initiation, self-renewal, differentiation, and resistance to current treatments. Dendritic cells (DCs) play a vital role in host immune reactions as well as antigen presentation. In this study, we explored the suitability of using CSC peptides as antigen sources for DC vaccination against human breast cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with the aim of achieving CSC targeting and enhancing anti-tumor immunity. CD44 is used as a CSC marker for breast cancer and EpCAM is used as a CSC marker for HCC. We selected CD44 and EpCAM peptides that bind to HLA-A2 molecules on the basis of their binding affinity, as determined by a peptide-T2 binding assay. Our data showed that CSCs express high levels of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) as well as major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Pulsing DCs with CD44 and EpCAM peptides resulted in the efficient generation of mature DCs (mDCs), thus enhancing T cell stimulation and generating potent cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). The activation of CSC peptide-specific immune responses by the DC vaccine in combination with standard chemotherapy may provide better clinical outcomes in advanced carcinomas. PMID 29298343

Dendritic cells based immunotherapy.
Nov. 2017 | Shang, Na; Figini, Matteo; Shangguan, Junjie; Wang, Bin; Sun, Chong; Pan, Liang; Ma, Quanhong; Zhang, Zhuoli
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells, and tumor antigen-loaded DCs (DC-vaccines) can activate tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in lymphatic tissues. DC vaccination is a newly emerging and potent form of cancer immunotherapy and has clinically relevant mechanisms of action with great potential for the systemic treatment of cancers. However, clinical trials have demonstrated relatively poor therapeutic efficacy. The efficacy of DC-vaccines is strongly influenced by various techniques for the priming antigen loading onto DCs and their ability to migrate to the draining lymph nodes (LNs). Therefore, it is critical to improve DC-vaccines homing to draining LNs after administration in order to optimize DC-based therapy for individual patients. This review underlines 1) appropriate strategy to load tumor antigens onto DCs and 2) to optimize vaccine administration methods to ensure loaded DCs can migrate to LNs, in particular, Intraperitoneal (IP) injection. IP injection of DC-based vaccine may be a potential regimen for gastrointestinal tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) since huge populations of LNs are present throughout the gastrointestinal track. Which might improve the subsequent migration to LNs. PMID 29119057

Tumor-derived exosomes elicit tumor suppression in murine hepatocellular carcinoma models and humans in vitro.
Juli 2017 | Rao, Quan; Zuo, Bingfeng; Lu, Zhen; Gao, Xianjun; You, Abin; Wu, Chenxuan; Du, Zhi; Yin, HaiFang
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a global challenge due to high morbidity and mortality rates and poor response to treatment. Immunotherapy, based on introduction of dendritic cells (DCs) activated by tumor cell lysates as antigens ex vivo, shows limited response rates in HCC patients. Here, we demonstrate that tumor cell-derived exosomes (TEXs), displaying an array of HCC antigens, can elicit a stronger immune response than cell lysates in vitro and in vivo. Significant tumor growth inhibition was achieved in ectopic and orthotopic HCC mice treated with TEX-pulsed DCs. Importantly, the tumor immune microenvironment was significantly improved in orthotopic HCC mice treated by TEX-pulsed DCs, demonstrated by increased numbers of T lymphocytes, elevated levels of interferon-γ, and decreased levels of interleukin-10 and tumor growth factor-β in tumor sites. As expected, T cells played an essential role in the TEX-pulsed DC-mediated immune response. Notably, exosomes from HCC cells not only promoted HCC-specific cytolysis but also provided cross-protective effects against pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, HCC-specific cytolysis, elicited by DCs pulsed with human HepG2 cell-derived exosomes, was observed across different human HCC cells irrespective of human leukocyte antigen types. PMID 26990897

Combination treatment with transarterial chemoembolization, radiotherapy, and hyperthermia (CERT) for hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein tumor thrombosis: Final results of a prospective phase II trial.
Mai 2017 | Yu, Jeong Il; Park, Hee Chul; Jung, Sang Hoon; Choi, Changhoon; Shin, Sung Wook; Cho, Sung Ki; Sinn, Dong Hyun; Paik, Yong-Han; Gwak, Geum-Youn; Choi, Moon Seok; Lee, Joon Hyeok; Koh, Kwang Cheol; Yoo, Byung Chul; Sahinbas, Hüseyin; Paik, Seung Woon
This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) followed by radiotherapy (RT) and hyperthermia (CERT) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT). PMID 28467966

Immunotherapeutic approaches for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Apr. 2017 | Longo, Vito; Gnoni, Antonio; Casadei Gardini, Andrea; Pisconti, Salvatore; Licchetta, Antonella; Scartozzi, Mario; Memeo, Riccardo; Palmieri, Vincenzo Ostilio; Aprile, Giuseppe; Santini, Daniele; Nardulli, Patrizia; Silvestris, Nicola; Brunetti, Oronzo
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a cancer with a high mortality rate due to the fact that the diagnosis usually occurs at anadvanced stage. Even in case of curative surgical treatment, recurrence is common. Sorafenib and regorafenib are the only therapeutic agents that have been demonstrated to be effective in advanced HCC, thus novel curative approaches are urgently needed. Recent studies focus on the role of immune system in HCC. In fact, the unique immune response in the liver favors tolerance, which can represent a real challenge for conventional immunotherapy in these patients. Spontaneous immune responses against tumor antigens have been detected, and new immune therapies are under investigation: dendritic cell vaccination, immune-modulator strategy, and immune checkpoint inhibition. In recent years different clinical trials examining the use of immunotherapy to treat HCC have been conducted with initial promising results. This review article will summarize the literature data concerning the potential immunotherapeutic approaches in HCC patients. PMID 28420805

Dynamic and specific immune responses against multiple tumor antigens were elicited in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after cell-based immunotherapy.
März 2017 | Han, Yanyan; Wu, Yeting; Yang, Chou; Huang, Jing; Guo, Yabing; Liu, Li; Chen, Ping; Wu, Dongyun; Liu, Junyun; Li, Jin; Zhou, Xiangjun; Hou, Jinlin
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers in China and frequently occurs with chronic hepatitis B virus infection. To investigate whether cell-based cancer immunotherapy induces tumor specific immune responses in patients with HCC and provides clinical benefits, as well as to elucidate the most immunogenic tumor associated antigens (TAAs), multiple antigen stimulating cellular therapy (MASCT) was applied in addition to standard of care. PMID 28330473

Recombinant Newcastle disease virus expressing human TRAIL as a potential candidate for hepatoma therapy.
März 2017 | Wu, Yunzhou; He, Jinjiao; Geng, Jingshu; An, Ying; Ye, Xianlong; Yan, Shijun; Yu, Qingzhong; Yin, Jiechao; Zhang, Zhenyu; Li, Deshan
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) have shown oncolytic therapeutic efficacy in preclinical studies and are currently proved for clinical trials. We have previously reported, for the first time, NDV Anhinga strain has an efficient cancer therapeutic efficacy in hepatoma. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) functions as a cytokine to selectively kill various cancer cells without toxicity to most normal cells. Numerous studies have demonstrated the potential use of recombinant soluble TRAIL as a cancer therapeutic agent. In this study, we have showed administration of a recombinant NDV Anhinga strain expressing soluble TRAIL (NDV/Anh-TRAIL) results in an efficient suppression of hepatocellular carcinoma without significant toxicity. The results show that recombinant NDV Anhinga strain expressing soluble TRAIL is a promising candidate for hepatoma therapy. PMID 28246027

Electro-hyperthermia up-regulates tumour suppressor Septin 4 to induce apoptotic cell death in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Juni 2016 | Jeon, Tae-Won; Yang, Heebum; Lee, Chang Geol; Oh, Sang Taek; Seo, Daekwan; Baik, In Hye; Lee, Eun Hye; Yun, Ina; Park, Kyung Ran; Lee, Yun-Han
Modulated electro-hyperthermia (mEHT) has been shown to be effective against various types of human tumours, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we aimed to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the cytotoxic effects of mEHT to HCC cells. PMID 27269053

Recombinant Newcastle disease virus (NDV/Anh-IL-2) expressing human IL-2 as a potential candidate for suppresses growth of hepatoma therapy.
Mai 2016 | Wu, Yunzhou; He, Jinjiao; An, Ying; Wang, Xi; Liu, Yunye; Yan, Shijun; Ye, Xianlong; Qi, Jianying; Zhu, Shenglong; Yu, Qingzhong; Yin, Jiechao; Li, Deshan; Wang, Wenfei
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) have shown oncolytic therapeutic efficacy in preclinical study and are currently approved for clinical trials. NDV Anhinga strain which is a mesogenic strain should be classified as lytic strain and has a therapeutic efficacy in hepatocellular cancer. In this study, we evaluated the capacity of NDV Anhinga strain to elicit immune reaction in vivo and the possibility for using as a vaccine vector for expressing tumor therapeutic factors. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) could boost the immune response against the tumor cells. Therefore, we use NDV Anhinga strain as backbone to construct a recombinant virus (NDV/Anh-IL-2) expressing IL-2. The virus growth curve showed that the production of recombinant NDV/Anh-IL-2 was slightly delayed compared to the wild type. The NDV/Anh-IL-2 strain could express soluble IL-2 and effectively inhibit the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma in vivo. 60 days post-treatment, mice which were completely cured by previous treatment were well protected when rechallenged with the same tumor cell. From the H&E-stained sections, intense infiltration of lymphocyte was observed in the NDV Anhinga strain treated group, especially in NDV/Anh-IL-2 group. The NDV Anhinga strain could not only kill the tumor directly, but could also elicit immune reaction and a potent immunological memory when killing tumor in vivo. In conclusion, the Anhinga strain could be an effective vector for tumor therapy; the recombinant NDV/Anh-IL-2 strain expressing soluble IL-2 is a promising candidate for hepatoma therapy. PMID 27174862

Antigen-specific T cell response from dendritic cell vaccination using side population cell-associated antigens targets hepatocellular carcinoma.
März 2016 | Li, Xiao; Zhang, Zhuochao; Lin, Guoying; Gao, Yuanxing; Yan, Zhen; Yin, Heliang; Sun, Bingyi; Wang, Fangyuan; Zhang, Haijun; Chen, Hong; Cao, Dayong
Dendritic cell (DC) vaccination targeting cancer stem cells is an effective way to suppress tumor progression and reduce the metastasis and recurrence. In the present study, we explored the suitability of side population (SP) cells as source of antigens for DC vaccination against hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a mouse model. In this study, we identified the "stem-like" characteristics of SP cells in the MHCC97 and Hepa 1-6 HCC cell lines. We found that SP cells express high levels of tumor-associated antigens and MHC class I molecules. Although loading with cell lysates did not change the characteristics of DCs, SP cell lysate-pulsed DCs induced antigen-specific T cell responses, including T cell proliferation and increased IFN-γ production by stimulated CD8(+) T cells. We investigated the cytotoxicity of T cells stimulated by SP cell lysate-pulsed DCs in nude mice co-injected with MHCC97 cells. To mimic the in vivo environment, we also confirmed the result in mouse HCC cell line Hepa 1-6 induced tumor-bearing C57/BL6 immune competent mice, and we demonstrated that vaccination with DCs loaded with Hepa 1-6 SP cell lysates could induce a T cell response in vivo and suppress the tumor growth. Our results may have applications for anti-HCC immunotherapy by targeting the cancer stem cells and may provide new insight for cancer vaccines. PMID 26951511

Current status and perspectives of immune-based therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Jan. 2016 | Aerts, Maridi; Benteyn, Daphné; Van Vlierberghe, Hans; Thielemans, Kris; Reynaert, Hendrik
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a frequent cancer with a high mortality. For early stage cancer there are potentially curative treatments including local ablation, resection and liver transplantation. However, for more advanced stage disease, there is no optimal treatment available. Even in the case of a "curative" treatment, recurrence or development of a new cancer in the precancerous liver is common. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel and effective (adjuvant) therapies to treat HCC and to prevent recurrence after local treatment in patients with HCC. The unique immune response in the liver favors tolerance, which remains a genuine challenge for conventional immunotherapy in patients with HCC. However, even in this "immunotolerant" organ, spontaneous immune responses against tumor antigens have been detected, although they are insufficient to achieve significant tumor death. Local ablation therapy leads to immunogenic tumor cell death by inducing the release of massive amounts of antigens, which enhances spontaneous immune response. New immune therapies such as dendritic cell vaccination and immune checkpoint inhibition are under investigation. Immunotherapy for cancer has made huge progress in the last few years and clinical trials examining the use of immunotherapy to treat hepatocellular carcinoma have shown some success. In this review, we discuss the current status of and offer some perspectives on immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma, which could change disease progression in the near future. PMID 26755874

A phase I/IIa study of adjuvant immunotherapy with tumour antigen-pulsed dendritic cells in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dez. 2015 | Lee, Jeong-Hoon; Lee, Yoon; Lee, Minjong; Heo, Min Kyu; Song, Jae-Sung; Kim, Ki-Hwan; Lee, Hyunah; Yi, Nam-Joon; Lee, Kwang-Woong; Suh, Kyung-Suk; Bae, Yong-Soo; Kim, Yoon Jun
To date, no adjuvant treatment has been shown to have a clear benefit in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this prospective phase I/IIa study, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of adjuvant dendritic cell (DC) therapy in HCC patients who received primary treatment for HCC. PMID 26657650

Recombinant Newcastle Disease Virus Encoding IL-12 and/or IL-2 as Potential Candidate for Hepatoma Carcinoma Therapy.
Aug. 2015 | Ren, Guiping; Tian, Guiyou; Liu, Yunye; He, Jinjiao; Gao, Xinyu; Yu, Yinhang; Liu, Xin; Zhang, Xu; Sun, Tian; Liu, Shuangqing; Yin, Jiechao; Li, Deshan
Interleukins as immunomodulators are promising therapeutic agents for cancer therapy. Previous studies showed that there was an improved antitumor immunity in tumor-bearing mice using recombinant Newcastle disease virus carrying for interleukin-2. Interleukin-12 is a promising antitumor cytokine too. So we investigated and compared the antitumor effect of genetically engineered Newcastle disease virus strains expressing both interleukin-12 and/or interleukin-2 (rClone30-interleukin-2, rClone30-interleukin-12, and rClone30-interleukin-12-interleukin-2). In vitro studies showed that rClone30s could efficiently infect tumor cells and express interleukin-12 and/or interleukin-2. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-y)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide results showed rClone30s possessed strong cytotoxic activities against multiple tumor cell lines (U251, HepG2, A549, and Hela). Animal studies showed that rClone30-interleukin-12-interleukin-2 was more effective in inhibition of murine hepatoma carcinoma tumors, with the mean tumor volume (day 14) of 141.70 mm(3) comparing 165.67 mm(3) of rClone30-interleukin-12 group, 210.47 mm(3) of rClone30-interleukin-2 group, 574.70 mm(3) of rClone30 group, and 1206.83 mm(3) of phosphate-buffered saline group. Moreover, the rClone30-interleukin-12-interleukin-2 treated mice secreted more interferon γ (333.518 pg/mL) and its downstream cytokine interferon-γ induced protein 10 (16.006 pg/mL) in tumor than the rClone30-interleukin-12 group (interferon γ: 257.548 pg/mL; interferon-γ induced protein 10: 13.601 pg/mL), rClone30-interleukin2 group (interferon γ: 124.601 pg/mL; interferon-γ induced protein 10: 9.779 pg/mL), or rClone30 group (interferon γ: 48.630 pg/mL; interferon-γ induced protein 10:1.650 pg/mL). For the survival study, rClone30-interleukin12-interleukin2 increased the survival rate (12 of 16) of the tumor-bearing mice versus 11 of 16 in rClone30-interleukin-12 group, 10 of 16 in rClone30-interleukin-2 group, 7 of 16 in Clone30 group, and 0/16 in phosphate-buffered saline group, respectively. To determine whether the mice treated with recombinant virus developed protective immune response, the mice were rechallenged with the same tumor cells. The results showed that viral-treated mice were significantly protected from rechallenge. These results suggest that expressing both interleukin-2 and/or interleukin-12 could be ideal approaches to enhance the antitumor ability of Newcastle disease virus, and rClone30-interleukin-12-interleukin-2 is slightly superior over rClone30-interleukin-12 and rClone30-interleukin-2 alone. PMID 26303327

Route of antigen delivery impacts the immunostimulatory activity of dendritic cell-based vaccines for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Juli 2015 | Pardee, Angela D; Yano, Hiroshi; Weinstein, Aliyah M; Ponce, Aaron A K; Ethridge, Alexander D; Normolle, Daniel P; Vujanovic, Lazar; Mizejewski, Gerald J; Watkins, Simon C; Butterfield, Lisa H
Dendritic cells (DC) are uniquely equipped to capture, process, and present antigens from their environment. The context in which an antigen is acquired by DC helps to dictate the subsequent immune response. Cancer vaccination promotes antitumor immunity by directing an immune response to antigens expressed by tumors. We have tested the tumor-associated antigen alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as an immunotherapy target. The majority of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) upregulate and secrete this oncofetal antigen. PMID 26199728

Sorafenib and locoregional deep electro-hyperthermia in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: A phase II study.
Sep. 2014 | Gadaleta-Caldarola, Gennaro; Infusino, Stefania; Galise, Ida; Ranieri, Girolamo; Vinciarelli, Gianluca; Fazio, Vito; Divella, Rosa; Daniele, Antonella; Filippelli, Gianfranco; Gadaleta, Cosmo Damiano
The standard treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor of tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Hyperthermia inhibits angiogenesis and promotes apoptosis. Potential synergic antiangiogenic and proapoptotic effects represent the rationale for combining sorafenib with electro-hyperthermia (EHY) in HCC. A total of 21 patients (median age, 64 years; range, 55-73 years) with advanced HCC were enrolled in the current study between February 2009 and September 2010. EHY was achieved by arranging capacitive electrodes with a deep hypothermia radiofrequency field of 13.56 Mhz at 80 W for 60 min, three times per week for six weeks, followed by two weeks without treatment, in combination with sorafenib at a dose of 800 mg every other day. According to the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria, 50% achieved stable disease, 5% achieved partial response and 45% achieved progressive disease. No complete response was observed. The progression-free survival (PFS) rate at six months was 38%, while the median PFS and overall survival times were 5.2 [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.2-6.2) and 10.4 (95% CI, 10-11) months, respectively. The overall incidence of treatment-related adverse events was 80%, predominantly of grade 1 or 2. Grade 3 toxicity included fatigue, diarrhea, hand-foot skin reaction and hypertension. In the present study, the sorafenib plus EHY combination was feasible and well tolerated, and no major complications were observed. The initial findings indicated that this combination offers a promising option for advanced HCC. PMID 25202410

Hyperthermia inhibits recombination repair of gemcitabine-stalled replication forks.
Aug. 2014 | Raoof, Mustafa; Zhu, Cihui; Cisneros, Brandon T; Liu, Heping; Corr, Stuart J; Wilson, Lon J; Curley, Steven A
Gemcitabine is a potent nucleoside analogue against solid tumors, but development of drug resistance is a substantial problem. Removal of gemcitabine incorporated into DNA by repair mechanisms may contribute to resistance in chemo-refractory solid tumors. Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is usually very chemoresistant to gemcitabine. PMID 25128695

Recombinant Newcastle disease virus Anhinga strain (NDV/Anh-EGFP) for hepatoma therapy.
März 2014 | Wu, Yunzhou; Yan, Shijun; Lv, Zheng; Chen, Lin; Geng, Jingshu; He, Jinjiao; Yu, Qingzhong; Yin, Jiechao; Ren, Guiping; Li, Deshan
Hepatocellular carcinoma remains one of the most common malignant tumors in the world. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) has been proved to be an efficient oncolytic agent. NDV tumor killing efficacy is not only dependening on the NDV strain but the type of tumor targeted. It is significant to discover more effective and safe oncolytic strains. We investigated the effectiveness of genetically engineered NDV Anhinga strain in hepatoma treatment. The modified virus containing an insertion of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), named NDV/Anh-EGFP. The antitumor efficacy of the recombinant virus on hepatoma was examined both in vivo and in vitro. NDV Anhinga strain, which could be classified as a lytic strain, is an effective oncolytic agent on hepatoma. There was no significant difference in the TCID50 and growth capability between the recombinant NDV and the parental. NDV/Anh-EGFP can obviously inhibit hepatocarcinoma development in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate Anhinga strain could become a potent candidate for clinical carcinoma therapy especially for hepatocarcinoma. PMID 23819497

Improved efficacy of therapeutic vaccination with dendritic cells pulsed with tumor cell lysate against hepatocellular carcinoma by introduction of 2 tandem repeats of microbial HSP70 peptide epitope 407-426 and OK-432.
Nov. 2011 | Ge, Chiyu; Xing, Yun; Wang, Qi; Xiao, Wen; Lu, Yong; Hu, Xiangbing; Gao, Zhenqiu; Xu, Maolei; Ma, Yanjun; Cao, Rongyue; Liu, Jingjing
Therapeutic vaccination with dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with tumor cell lysate vaccine (H-D) represents an attractive approach for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment. However, the efficacy of this approach is not most satisfactory for the low levels of T helper 1 (Th1)-type cytokines secretion and weak T cell responses. In this study, in order to increase the potency of H-D, two tandem repeats of microbial HSP70 peptide epitope 407-426 (2mHSP70(407-426), M2) which has been demonstrated to be effective in enhancing DC maturation were applied. The DC vaccine (HM-D) which was HCC tumor cell lysate pulsed with M2 was developed. Nevertheless, the immunotherapeutic effect was still not satisfactory enough even some promotion was obtained. Therefore, OK-432 (OK), which is a useful anti-cancer agent and effectively in stimulating DC maturation, was introduced to HM-D. Our results demonstrated that treatment with the improved DC vaccine which was tumor cell lysate pulsed with M2 and OK (HMO-D), compared with H-D and HM-D, significantly increased cell surface markers (MHC-I and II, CD40, CD80, CD86 and CD11c) expression on DCs, enhanced Th1-type cytokines (IL-12, TNF-α and IFN-γ) production but not Th2-type cytokine (IL-5) production, induced remarkable high levels of lymphocytes proliferation and CD8(+) cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL). Furthermore, immunization with HMO-D effectively reduced tumor progression and enhanced the survival of mice with H22 tumors. Besides, we also found that the capability of M2 in inducing the Th1 cytokines was stronger than OK. In view of these results, HMO-D vaccination provided a novel immunotherapeutic approach for the treatment of HCC. PMID 22015603

Dendritic cell-based vaccines positively impact natural killer and regulatory T cells in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.
Okt. 2011 | Bray, Sarah M; Vujanovic, Lazar; Butterfield, Lisa H
Immunotherapy of cancer must promote antitumor effector cells for tumor eradication as well as counteract immunoregulatory mechanisms which inhibit effectors. Immunologic therapies of cancer are showing promise, including dendritic cell-(DC-) based strategies. DC are highly malleable antigen-presenting cells which can promote potent antitumor immunity as well as tolerance, depending on the environmental signals received. Previously, we tested a peptide-pulsed DC vaccine to promote Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP-) specific anti-tumor immunity in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and reported on the CD8+ T cell responses induced by this vaccine and the clinical trial results. Here, we show that the peptide-loaded DC enhanced NK cell activation and decreased regulatory T cells (Treg) frequencies in vaccinated HCC patients. We also extend these data by testing several forms of DC vaccines in vitro to determine the impact of antigen loading and maturation signals on both NK cells and Treg from healthy donors and HCC patients. PMID 21969837

Dendritic cells-mediated CTLs targeting hepatocellular carcinoma stem cells.
Okt. 2010 | Sun, Jian-cong; Pan, Ke; Chen, Min-shan; Wang, Qi-jing; Wang, Hui; Ma, Hai-qing; Li, Yong-qiang; Liang, Xiao-ting; Li, Jian-jun; Zhao, Jing-jing; Chen, Yi-bing; Pang, Xiong-hao; Liu, Wang-li; Cao, Yun; Guan, Xin-yuan; Lian, Qi-zhou; Xia, Jian-chuan
Immunotherapy, especially using dendritic cells (DCs)-based vaccine, appears promising in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following surgery. However, the therapeutic efficacy of current DC vaccines loaded with HCC antigen is limited in clinical practice. One important reason might be that the DC vaccines for the treatment of HCC were not aimed at targeting the hepatocellular carcinoma cancer stem cells (HCCCSCs). Therefore, establishing an immunotherapy to kill HCC stem cells could be a novel therapeutic strategy. In this study, we have developed an immunotherapy to target CD133(+) HCC cells in the treatment of HCC. This study had three main findings; (1) CD133(+)HCC cells RNA loaded DCs could induce special CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CD133(+)Huh7-CTLs) response against CD133(+) Huh7 cells in vitro. (2) Huh7 cells-induced tumor growth in vivo was effectively inhibited by CD133(+)Huh7-CTLs. (3) the great inhibition potential of CD133(+)Huh7-CTLs to Huh7-induced tumor growth might not be only associated with anti-tumor cytokines such as IFNγ, but also to CD133(+)Huh7-DCs induced specific CTLs. This study shows an experimental proof that CD133(+)HCC cells RNA loaded DC vaccine has potential in treating HCC and may provide a new therapy for clinical post operative adjuvant therapy in future. PMID 20581468

Comparative analysis of cytotoxic T lymphocyte response induced by dendritic cells loaded with hepatocellular carcinoma -derived RNA or cell lysate.
Okt. 2010 | Pan, Ke; Zhao, Jing-jing; Wang, Hui; Li, Jian-jun; Liang, Xiao-ting; Sun, Jian-cong; Chen, Yi-bing; Ma, Hai-qing; Liu, Qing; Xia, Jian-chuan
The choice of the tumor antigen preparation used for dendritic cell (DC) loading is important for optimizing DC vaccines. In the present study, we compared DCs pulsed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) total RNA or cell lysates for their capacity to activate T cells. We showed here that HCC total RNA pulsed-DCs induced effector T lymphocyte responses which showed higher killing ability to HCC cell lines, as well as higher frequency of IFN-γ producing of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells when compared with lysate pulsed-DCs. Both of RNA and lysate loading did not influence the changes of mature DC phenotype and the capacity of inducing T cell proliferation. However, HCC lysate loading significantly inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines IL-12p70, IFN-γ and enhanced the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 of mature DCs. Our results indicated that DCs loaded with HCC RNA are superior to that loaded with lysate in priming anti-HCC CTL response, suggesting that total RNA may be a better choice for DCs-based HCC immunotherapy. PMID 20975822

Increased prevalence of regulatory T cells in the tumor microenvironment and its correlation with TNM stage of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Sep. 2010 | Shen, Xiaohong; Li, Na; Li, Hui; Zhang, Ti; Wang, Feng; Li, Qiang
Few detailed studies about the correlations among the expanded prevalence, elevated function of Treg cells in tumor microenvironment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and different clinical tumor stage were reported. The purpose of the present study was to examine the presence and functions of CD4(+)CD25(high) regulatory T cell (Treg cell) in tumor microenvironment from early and late stages and reveal the potential underlying mechanisms that may be responsible. PMID 20221638

Dendritic cells fused with allogeneic hepatocellular carcinoma cell line compared with fused autologous tumor cells as hepatocellular carcinoma vaccines.
Juni 2010 | Yang, Jing-Yue; Cao, Da-Yong; Ma, Long-Yang; Liu, Wen-Chao
To investigate the specific antitumor responses against autologous hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells of dendritic cells (DCs) fused with allogeneic HCC cell line, and evaluated the feasibility of BEL7402 as an alternative strategy to deliver shared HCC antigens to DCs. PMID 20374301

Immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Juni 2010 | Korangy, Firouzeh; Höchst, Bastian; Manns, Michael P; Greten, Tim F
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the third most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide and efficient treatment options are urgently needed. Based on its pathogenesis, in addition to a number of correlative studies, immunotherapy represents a potential therapeutic option for patients with HCC. However, tumors have also evolved numerous immune escape mechanisms, including the generation of cells with immune suppressor functions, such as Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. It has been shown that these suppressor cells mask tumor-specific immune responses in patients with HCC. Different immunotherapeutic approaches including peptide- and dendritic cell-based therapies have demonstrated promising results in patients with HCC. However, we propose that any of these immunotherapeutic approaches needs to be combined with a therapy specifically targeting suppressor cells in HCC. PMID 20528121

Strong CD8(+) T-cell responses against tumor-associated antigens prolong the recurrence-free interval after tumor treatment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Apr. 2010 | Hiroishi, Kazumasa; Eguchi, Junichi; Baba, Toshiyuki; Shimazaki, Tomoe; Ishii, Shigeaki; Hiraide, Ayako; Sakaki, Masashi; Doi, Hiroyoshi; Uozumi, Shojiro; Omori, Risa; Matsumura, Takuya; Yanagawa, Tatsuro; Ito, Takayoshi; Imawari, Michio
We investigated whether tumor-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses affect tumor-free survival as well as the relationship between CD8(+) T-cell responses against tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) and the clinical course after tumor treatment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). PMID 19936602

Dendritic Cells-based Vaccine and Immune Monitoring for Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
März 2010 | Lee, Dae-Heui
Human tumors, including those of the hepatobiliary system, express a number of specific antigens that can be recognized by T cells, and may provide potential targets for cancer immunotherapy. Dendritic cells (DCs) are rare leucocytes that are uniquely potent in their ability to capture, process and present antigens to T cells. The ability to culture sufficient numbers of DCs from human bone marrow or blood progenitors has attracted a great deal of interest in their potential utilization in human tumor vaccination. CD34(+) peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) were obtained from a patient with a hepatocellular carcinoma. The PBSCs were cultured in the X-VIVO 20 medium supplemented with the Flt-3 Ligand (FL), GM-CSF, IL-4 and TNF-alpha for 12 days. The morphology and functions of the cells were examined. The generated cells had the typical morphology of DCs. When the DCs were reinjected into the same patient, an augmentation of the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity was observed. Concomitantly, an increase in the natural killer (NK) cell activity was also detected in the patient. These results suggest that DCs-based cancer immunotherapy may become an important treatment option for cancer patients in the future. PMID 20221274

Engineered newcastle disease virus as an improved oncolytic agent against hepatocellular carcinoma.
Feb. 2010 | Altomonte, Jennifer; Marozin, Sabrina; Schmid, Roland M; Ebert, Oliver
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is an intrinsically tumor-specific virus, which is currently under investigation as a clinical oncolytic agent. Several clinical trials have reported NDV to be a safe and effective agent for cancer therapy; however, there remains a clear need for improvement in therapeutic outcome. The endogenous NDV fusion (F) protein directs membrane fusion, which is required for virus entry and cell-cell fusion. Here, we report a novel NDV vector harboring an L289A mutation within the F gene, which resulted in enhanced fusion and cytotoxicity of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells in vitro, as compared with the rNDV/F3aa control virus. In vivo administration of the recombinant vector, termed rNDV/F3aa(L289A), via hepatic arterial infusion in immune-competent Buffalo rats bearing multifocal, orthotopic liver tumors resulted in tumor-specific syncytia formation and necrosis, with no evidence of toxicity to the neighboring hepatic parenchyma. Furthermore, the improved oncolysis conferred by the L289A mutation translated to significantly prolonged survival compared with control NDV. Taken together, rNDV/F(L289A) represents a safe, yet more effective vector than wild-type NDV for the treatment of HCC, making it an ideal candidate for clinical application in HCC patients. PMID 19809404

Comparative analysis of DC fused with allogeneic hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 and autologous tumor cells as potential cancer vaccines against hepatocellular carcinoma.
Aug. 2009 | Cao, Da-Yong; Yang, Jing-Yue; Yue, Shu-Qiang; Tao, Kai-Shan; Song, Zhen-Shun; Wang, De-Sheng; Yang, Yan-Ling; Dou, Ke-Feng
Fusions of patient-derived dendritic cells (DCs) and autologous tumor cells induce T-cell responses against autologous tumors in animal models and human clinical trials. These fusion cells require patient-derived tumor cells, which are not, however, always available. Here we fused autologous DCs from patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to an allogeneic HCC cell line (HepG2). These fusion cells co-expressed tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) and DC-derived costimulatory and MHC molecules. Both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells were activated by the fusion cells. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) induced by the fusion cells were able to kill autologous HCC by HLA-A2- and/or HLA-A24-restricted mechanisms. CTL activity against shared TAAs indicates that the presence of alloantigens does not prevent the development of CTLs with activity against autologous HCC cells. These fusion cells may have applications in anti-tumor immunotherapy through cross-priming against shared tumor antigens and may provide a platform for adoptive immunotherapy. PMID 19545862

A phase II study of adoptive immunotherapy using dendritic cells pulsed with tumor lysate in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Jan. 2009 | Palmer, Daniel H; Midgley, Rachel S; Mirza, Noweeda; Torr, Elizabeth E; Ahmed, Forhad; Steele, Jane C; Steven, Neil M; Kerr, David J; Young, Lawrence S; Adams, David H
This is a phase II clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of intravenous vaccination with mature autologous dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed ex vivo with a liver tumor cell line lysate (HepG2) in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is an attractive target for immunotherapy as evidenced by an active recruitment of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes that are capable of lysing autologous tumor cells in ex vivo studies. DCs are the most potent antigen-presenting cells, with the capacity to take up, process, and present tumor antigens to T cells and stimulate an immune response, thus providing a rational platform for vaccine development. Thirty-five patients with advanced HCC and not suitable for radical or loco-regional therapies received a maximum of six DC vaccinations each at 3-week intervals. In total, 134 DC infusions were administered with no significant toxicity and no evidence of autoimmunity. Twenty-five patients who received at least three vaccine infusions were assessed clinically for response. The radiologically determined disease control rate (combined partial response and stable disease >or=3 months) was 28%. In 17 patients the baseline serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was >or= 1,000 ng/mL; in four of these patients, it fell to <30% of baseline following vaccination. In one patient there was a radiological partial response associated with a fall in AFP to <10% of baseline. Immune responses were assessed using an ELIspot assay of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) release. In several cases there was induction of T cell responses to the vaccine and/or AFP following vaccination. PMID 18980227

The anti-tumor effect of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells loaded with HSV-TK/GCV induced dying cells.
Dez. 2008 | Xing, Wei; Wu, Sha; Yuan, Xiaomei; Chen, Qizheng; Shen, Xin; He, Fengrong; Bian, Jing; Lei, Ping; Zhu, Huifen; Wang, Shuo; Shen, Guanxin
Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) gene and dendritic cells (DC) have been used as the pioneering in cancer therapy. HSV-TK gene can induce apoptosis and necrosis in tumor cells in the presence of the non-toxic prodrug ganciclovir (GCV). We investigated the anti-tumor effect of DC vaccination by introducing dying cells from HSV-TK gene treatment as an adjuvant. HepG(2)-TK cell line was established by transfecting human hepatoma cell line HepG(2) (HLA-A(2) positive) with HSV-TK gene. Dying tumor cells were generated by culturing HepG(2)-TK cells with GCV. After engulfed dying cells efficiently, immature DCs (imDC) derived from human monocytes were fully matured and elicited marked proliferation and cytotoxicity against HLA matched HepG(2) cells in autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). It also implied that HepG(2) specific CTLs played an important role in the cytotoxicity which was primarily depended on Th1 responses. Given the feasibility of inducing dying cells by HSV-TK/GCV in vivo, our results suggest an effective method in clinical human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment by an in vitro model of applying HSV-TK gene modified human tumor cells integrated with DC vaccination. PMID 18834973

In vitro generation of cytotoxic and regulatory T cells by fusions of human dendritic cells and hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Okt. 2008 | Koido, Shigeo; Homma, Sadamu; Hara, Eiichi; Mitsunaga, Makoto; Namiki, Yoshihisa; Takahara, Akitaka; Nagasaki, Eijiro; Komita, Hideo; Sagawa, Yukiko; Ohkusa, Toshifumi; Fujise, Kiyotaka; Gong, Jianlin; Tajiri, Hisao
Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells express WT1 and/or carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) as potential targets for the induction of antitumor immunity. In this study, generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and regulatory T cells (Treg) by fusions of dendritic cells (DCs) and HCC cells was examined. PMID 18793383

CD40ligand-expressing dendritic cells induce regression of hepatocellular carcinoma by activating innate and acquired immunity in vivo.
Juli 2008 | Gonzalez-Carmona, Maria A; Lukacs-Kornek, Veronika; Timmerman, Anne; Shabani, Sara; Kornek, Miroslaw; Vogt, Annabelle; Yildiz, Yildiz; Sievers, Elisabeth; Schmidt-Wolf, Ingo G H; Caselmann, Wolfgang H; Sauerbruch, Tilman; Schmitz, Volker
Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells able to prime T-cells against tumor-associated antigens (TAA), but their potential to induce hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) regression is still limited. CD40/CD40L interaction is essential for DC activation and induction of antigen-specific T-cells. In this study, transduction of TAA-pulsed DC with a CD40L-encoding adenovirus (Ad-CD40L) was used to improve the immune response induced by DC toward HCC. Bone marrow-derived DC from C3H/HeNcrl mice were cultured with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-4. On day 6, tumor-lysate pulsed DCs were infected with adenoviruses. HCCs were induced by inoculation of mice with Hepa129-cells subcutaneously. When tumor-volume was 100 to 400 mm(3), DCs were injected intratumorally, subcutaneously, or intravenously. Ad-CD40L transduction exerted CD40/CD40L interactions between DCs, increasing DC immunostimulation with up-regulation of CD80/CD86- and interleukin-12 (IL-12) expression. Intratumoral injection of CD40L-DC was superior to intravenous or subcutaneous treatments, yielding tumor elimination in almost 70% of mice. Moreover, all tumor-free animals were protected against hepatic tumor cell rechallenge. In a preventive setting, subcutaneous injection of CD40L-expressing DCs protected 50% of mice for more than 3 months toward tumor cell challenge. The induced immune response seemed to be dependent on cross-priming with Th1-lymphocytes in the lymph nodes, because transduced DCs were redetected in lymphoid tissues. In addition, immunohistochemistry of tumors indicated a significant tumor infiltration with CD4+, CD8+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were tumor-specific, as shown in interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot and T-cell proliferation assays. PMID 18537185

Spontaneous and vaccine induced AFP-specific T cell phenotypes in subjects with AFP-positive hepatocellular cancer.
Okt. 2007 | Butterfield, Lisa H; Ribas, Antoni; Potter, Douglas M; Economou, James S
We are investigating the use of Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) as a tumor rejection antigen for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We recently completed vaccination of 10 AFP+/HLA-A2.1+ HCC subjects with AFP peptide-pulsed autologous dendritic cells (DC). There were increased frequencies of circulating AFP-specific T cells and of IFNgamma-producing AFP-specific T cells after vaccination. In order to better understand the lack of association between immune response and clinical response, we have examined additional aspects of the AFP immune response in patients. Here, we have characterized the cell surface phenotype of circulating AFP tetramer-positive CD8 T cells and assessed AFP-specific CD4 function. Before vaccination, HCC subjects had increased frequencies of circulating AFP-specific CD8 T cells with a range of naïve, effector, central and effector memory phenotypes. Several patients had up-regulated activation markers. A subset of patients was assessed for phenotypic changes pre- and post-vaccination, and evidence for complete differentiation to effector or memory phenotype was lacking. CD8 phenotypic and cytokine responses did not correlate with level of patient serum AFP antigen (between 74 and 463,040 ng/ml). Assessment of CD4+ T cell responses by ELISPOT and multi-cytokine assay did not identify any spontaneous CD4 T cell responses to this secreted protein. These data indicate that there is an expanded pool of partially differentiated AFP-specific CD8 T cells in many of these HCC subjects, but that these cells are largely non-functional, and that a detectable CD4 T cell response to this secreted oncofetal antigen is lacking. PMID 17522860

alpha-fetoprotein and interleukin-18 gene-modified dendritic cells effectively stimulate specific type-1 CD4- and CD8-mediated T-Cell response from hepatocellular carcinoma patients in Vitro.
Apr. 2007 | Cao, Da-Yong; Yang, Jing-Yue; Dou, Ke-Feng; Ma, Long-Yang; Teng, Zeng-Hui
The T-helper 1 (Th1) immune reaction is most important in dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy. Interleukin (IL)-18, a Th1-biasing cytokine, plays a pivotal role in inducing cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. In this study, we analyzed whether dendritic cells (DCs) from patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) can be transduced with the IL-18 gene and/or alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) gene, and we examined whether vaccinations using these genetically engineered DC can induce stronger therapeutic antitumor immunity. The results showed that DC transfected with AdIL-18/AFP can expressed IL-18 and AFP by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunoassay. Compared with those before transfection, the expressions of membrane molecules were increased dramatically. Specific T cells generated by DC transfected with AdIL-18/AFP recognized HLA-matched HepG2 cell lines specifically. Most importantly, The cytotoxic activity of CTLs against HepG2 with DC expressing AFP(AFP-DC) was significantly augmented by co-transduction with the IL-18 gene. Administration with such vaccine also significantly increased the production of interleukin-12p70 and interferon-gamma. These results indicate that a vaccination therapy using DC co-transduced with the TAA gene and IL-18 genes is effective strategy for immunotherapy in terms of the activation of DCs, CD4+ T, cells and CD8+ T cells, and may be useful in the clinical application of a cancer vaccine therapy. PMID 17462500

AFP-specific CD4+ helper T-cell responses in healthy donors and HCC patients.
Apr. 2007 | Evdokimova, Viktoria N; Liu, Yang; Potter, Douglas M; Butterfield, Lisa H
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide, and is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. We have investigated alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as a tumor-associated antigen for HCC. We identified major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted peptide epitopes derived from AFP and studied CD8 T-cell responses in vivo and in vitro in ongoing immunotherapy studies. Helper T cells are of critical importance in shaping the immune response; therefore, we investigated the frequency and function of AFP-specific CD4 T cells in the general population and among HCC patients. CD4 T-cell responses were assessed by direct ex vivo multicytokine enzyme-linked immunospot assay and by measurement of cytokine levels using a multicytokine assay. Our analysis indicates that healthy donors have very low frequencies of AFP-specific CD4 T-cell responses, which are of TH1 type, detectable ex vivo. In contrast, these T cells were either reduced or eliminated in HCC patients at advanced stages of disease. To better activate these cells, we compared the stimulatory capacity of both AFP protein-fed and AdVhAFP-engineered dendritic cells (DC). Healthy donors have CD4 T-cell responses, which were activated in response to AFP protein-fed DC whereas HCC patients do not demonstrate significant responses to AFP protein. AdVhAFP-transduced DC were capable of activating higher frequency TH1 CD4 responses to AFP in both healthy donors and AFP-positive HCC patients. Importantly, CD4 T-cell cytokine expression profiles were skewed towards interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma production when activated by adenovirally engineered DC, which has therapeutic implications for vaccination efforts. PMID 17457217

Comparative analysis of DC fused with tumor cells or transfected with tumor total RNA as potential cancer vaccines against hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dez. 2006 | Zhang, Hong-Mei; Zhang, Li-Wang; Liu, Wen-Chao; Cheng, Jie; Si, Xiao-Ming; Ren, Jun
DC vaccination with the use of tumor cells provides the potential to generate a polyclonal immune response to multiple known and unknown tumor Ag. Our study comparatively analyzed DC fused with tumor cells or transfected with tumor total RNA as potential cancer vaccines against hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). PMID 17148035

Dendritic cell as therapeutic vaccines against tumors and its role in therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Aug. 2006 | Sun, Kang; Wang, Liang; Zhang, Yanyun
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent professional antigen-presenting cells, and capable of stimulating naïve T cells and driving primary immune responses. DCs are poised to capture antigen, migrate to draining lymphoid organs, and after a process of maturation, select antigen-specific lymphocytes to which they present the processed antigen, thereby inducing immune responses. The development of protocols for the ex vivo generation of DCs may provide a rationale for designing and developing DC-based vaccination for the treatment of tumors. There are now several strategies being applied to upload antigens to DCs and manipulate DC vaccines. DC vaccines are able to induce therapeutic and protective antitumor immunity. Numerous studies indicated that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) immunotherapies utilizing DC-presenting tumor-associated antigens could stimulate an antitumour T cell response leading to clinical benefit without any significant toxicity. DC-based tumor vaccines have become a novel immunoadjuvant therapy for HCC. PMID 16893500

Induction of alpha-fetoprotein-specific CD4- and CD8-mediated T-cell response using RNA-transfected dendritic cells.
Juli 2006 | Zhang, Hong-Mei; Zhang, Li-Wang; Ren, Jun; Fan, Li; Si, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wen-Chao
alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) may be a possible target for a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-specific vaccination. But some studies have demonstrated that dendritic cells (DCs) treated with AFP become dysfunctional. So in this study, we try to transfect AFP mRNA into DCs and observe the ability of DCs to induce AFP-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. We hope that AFP can be processed and presented by DCs directly, rather than released to the cultures. So there will be no AFP negative effect on the function of DCs. In the study, immature DCs generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of HLA-A2(+) HCC patients were transfected with AFP mRNA. Then the transfected, matured DCs were used to stimulate autologous T cells. The results showed that the expressions of membrane molecules of DCs after transfection were increased dramatically, and interleukin-12 (IL-12) p70 release in the supernatant was elevated significantly. There was only a minority of AFP release in the supernatants of transfected DCs. CTLs induced by the transfected DCs recognized HLA-matched AFP positive HepG2 cell line specifically and the AFP-specific proliferative T-cell responses could also be induced. These findings indicate that this AFP mRNA transfection strategy could generate fully functional DCs, which could induce specific T cells to recognize AFP(+) HCC cells. PMID 16814271

Specific antihepatocellular carcinoma T cells generated by dendritic cells pulsed with hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 total RNA.
Feb. 2006 | Zhang, Liwang; Zhang, Hongmei; Liu, Wenchao; Wang, Hui; Jia, Jun; Si, Xiaoming; Ren, Jun
Dendritic cell (DC) vaccination with the use of total tumor RNA provides the potential to generate a polyclonal immune response to multiple known and unknown tumor antigens without HLA restriction. Our study evaluated this approach as potential immunotherapy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Immature DCs generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with HCC were transfected with HepG2-GFP (HepG2 cells transfected stably with plasmid pEGFP-C3) cells total RNA. Transfected, matured DCs were used to stimulate autologous T cells. Results revealed that DCs transfected with HepG2-GFP cells total RNA expressed EGFP when observed by flow cytometry. Compared with those before transfection, the expressions of membrane molecules were increased dramatically, and interleukin-12p70 release in the supernatant was elevated significantly. Specific T cells generated by DCs transfected with HepG2-GFP total RNA recognized HLA-matched HepG2 cell lines specifically. These findings indicate that these RNA-transfected DCs successfully generate specific T cells that specifically recognize HCC cells. Total tumor RNA-pulsed DCs may have potential as an adjuvant immunotherapy for patients with HCC. PMID 16472793

Immunological treatment of liver tumors.
Jan. 2006 | Chiriva-Internati, Maurizio; Grizzi, Fabio; Jumper, Cynthia A; Cobos, Everardo; Hermonat, Paul L; Frezza, Eldo E
Although multiple options for the treatment of liver tumors have often been described in the past, including liver resection, radiofrequency ablation with or without hepatic pump insertion, laparoscopic liver resection and the use of chemotherapy, the potential of immunotherapy and gene manipulation is still largely unexplored. Immunological therapy by gene manipulation is based on the interaction between virus-based gene delivery systems and dendritic cells. Using viruses as vectors, it is possible to transduce dendritic cells with genes encoding tumor-associated antigens, thus inducing strong humoral and cellular immunity against the antigens themselves. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy have the disadvantage of destroying healthy cells, thus causing severe side-effects. We need more precisely targeted therapies capable of killing cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Our goal is to establish a new treatment for solid liver tumors based on the concept of cytoreduction, and propose an innovative algorithm. PMID 16425346

Activation of dendritic cells by local ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Okt. 2005 | Ali, Mona Y; Grimm, Christian F; Ritter, Marcus; Mohr, Leonhard; Allgaier, Hans-Peter; Weth, Robert; Bocher, Wulf O; Endrulat, Katja; Blum, Hubert E; Geissler, Michael
Local ablation methods are an effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The rate of recurrence or development of intra-hepatic metastases may be lowered by antitumoral immune responses. Since HCCs are in general only weakly immunogenic, cell injury induced by local tumor ablation (PEI/RFTA) may increase HCC immunogenicity and may release endogenous adjuvants that activate dendritic cells (DC). The aim of the study, therefore, was the analysis whether PEI or RFTA induced injury results in an adjuvant effect for immune responses to HCCs. PMID 16087270

Administration of dendritic cells in cancer nodules in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Sep. 2005 | Kumagi, Teru; Akbar, S M Fazle; Horiike, Norio; Kurose, Kiyotaka; Hirooka, Masashi; Hiraoka, Atsushi; Hiasa, Yoichi; Michitaka, Kojiro; Onji, Morikazu
Dendritic cells (DCs), the most potent antigen-presenting cells in vivo, are now used for cancer immunotherapy during which they are usually administered to the blood of patients with cancer. However, the route of administration of DCs affects the magnitude of immune responses. This study was conducted to assess the safety of the direct administration of DCs into cancer nodules. DCs were generated by culturing peripheral blood mononuclear cells with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-4 for 7 days. After confirming the phenotype and function, one hundred thousand DCs were injected directly into the cancer nodules of 4 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) under ultrasonography guidance 48 h after the administration of 100% ethanol. All patients were monitored for any alteration in generalized condition, signs of inflammation, and liver and kidney function for the next 14 days. In addition, the final assessment of the safety of the administration of DCs into cancer nodules was performed 6 months after therapy commencement. The injection of 100% ethanol disrupted the HCC nodules in all 4 patients. DCs were distributed uniformly in the cancer nodules as assessed by ultrasonography. The administration of DCs into cancer nodules was well tolerated by all patients and there were no immediate or delayed side effects. The tumor marker decreased in one patient after the direct administration of DCs. Direct administration of DCs into the cancer nodules of patients with HCC was safe. PMID 16142359

Vaccination of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients with tumor lysate-pulsed dendritic cells: a clinical trial.
Aug. 2005 | Lee, Wei-Chen; Wang, Hui-Chuan; Hung, Chien-Fu; Huang, Pei-Fang; Lia, Chen-Rong; Chen, Miin-Fu
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common and rapidly progressing malignancy. Current treatment options for advanced HCC are limited. This clinical study of dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy for HCC enrolled 31 patients with advanced HCC. DCs, propagated from peripheral blood monocytes, were pulsed with autologous tumor lysates to treat HCC. The first 14 patients underwent pulsed therapy with five courses of DC vaccination intravenously at weekly intervals. The other 17 patients underwent monthly boost vaccinations after the initial pulsed therapy. Among the 31 patients, 4 (12.9%) exhibited partial response to DC vaccination. Seventeen patients (54.8%) had stable disease. Ten patients (32.3%) had progressive disease. The overall 1-year survival rate of all 31 patients was 40.1 +/- 9.1%. The patients treated with pulsed and boosted therapy had better 1-year survival rates than those treated by pulsed therapy alone (63.3 +/- 12.0% vs. 10.7 +/- 9.4%; P < 0.001). In this trial, DC vaccinations for advanced HCC were safe. Liver function tests showed no difference before and after DC vaccinations. The results of this clinical trial indicate that DC vaccination is a safe treatment for HCC. Pulsed DC vaccination followed by boosters can provide better clinical survival for advanced HCC patients than pulsed DC vaccination only. Further studies are needed to increase the efficacy of this therapeutic approach. PMID 16113606

Vaccination with dendritic cells pulsed with apoptotic cells elicits effective antitumor immunity in murine hepatoma models.
Apr. 2005 | Hayashi, Toshinobu; Nakao, Kazuhiko; Nagayama, Yuji; Saitoh, Ohki; Ichikawa, Tatsuki; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Hamasaki, Keisuke; Eguchi, Katsumi; Ishii, Nobuko
Dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccine is a developing strategy to treat cancer including hepatoma. We evaluated the antitumor efficacy of vaccination with DCs pulsed with apoptotic cells, as compared to vaccination with DCs pulsed with cell lysates, in murine hepatoma models. Murine hepatoma cells, Hepa1-6, MH134 and BNL1ME.A.7R.1, and their syngeneic mice, C57BL/6, C3H/HeN and BALB/c, respectively, were used in the study. Protective and therapeutic antitumor effects of vaccination with bone marrow-derived DCs pulsed with irradiation or sulindac-induced apoptotic cells or cell lysates were analyzed. Immature DCs efficiently phagocytosed apoptotic cells and increased expression of CD86, a cell surface maturation marker. Vaccination with apoptotic cell-pulsed, but not cell lysate-pulsed, DCs promoted significant protective immunity against parental hepatoma in vivo. Spleen cells from mice vaccinated with apoptotic cell-pulsed DCs showed higher cytolytic activity and contained higher number of IFN-gamma producing cells against parental hepatoma cells than those from mice vaccinated with cell lysate-pulsed DCs in vitro. Polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid [poly (I:C)], double strand RNA, further enhanced CD86 expression and the therapeutic efficacy of vaccination with DCs pulsed with apoptotic cells for pre-established hepatoma. These results suggest that vaccination with DCs pulsed with apoptotic cells and treated with poly (I:C) appears to be a promising approach as a new therapeutic means for hepatoma. PMID 15809723

The role of the immune system in the control of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dez. 2004 | O'Beirne, James P; Harrison, Phillip M
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is common, and current therapies may not be suitable for the majority of patients with advanced disease. Cases of spontaneous regression suggest that immune mechanisms are important in the control of HCC. Experiments in animal models have shown that tolerance to HCC associated antigens can be overcome and using a number of different techniques researchers have been able to prevent the growth of implanted tumours. The most promising of these techniques is based on the use of dendritic cells, which are able to process and present antigens to activate naive T cells and, when loaded with tumour antigens, can stimulate a specific and durable anti-tumour response. The success of animal studies has led to interest in the clinical applicability of HCC immunotherapy. Non-specific adoptive immunotherapy has been successful in preventing disease recurrence after resection and cellular vaccines based on dendritic cells are now entering clinical trials. The use of dendritic-cell vaccination raises exciting possibilities of preventing the formation of HCC in high-risk individuals such as those with cirrhosis. PMID 15618828

Immunoregulation of dendritic and T cells by alpha-fetoprotein in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dez. 2004 | Ritter, Marcus; Ali, Mona Y; Grimm, Christian F; Weth, Robert; Mohr, Leonhard; Bocher, Wulf O; Endrulat, Katja; Wedemeyer, Heiner; Blum, Hubert E; Geissler, Michael
Novel immunotherapeutic and other strategies are being explored for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) may be a target antigen for immunotherapy. Little is known, however, about the immunobiology of AFP. Therefore, the impact of AFP on dendritic cells (DC), CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was studied in detail. PMID 15582134

Immunotherapeutic strategies for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Okt. 2004 | Butterfield, Lisa H
There is a continuing need for innovative, alternative therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Immunotherapy for cancer is attractive because of the exquisite specificity of the immune response. Activation of an HCC-specific response can be accomplished by strategies targeting tumor-associated self-antigens (for example, alpha-fetoprotein [AFP]). Gene array studies have added to the list of HCC-specific gene products that can be targeted. Alternatively, the immune response can be targeted against viral antigens in those patients infected with hepatitis B or C virus. Uncharacterized and mutated antigens can also be targeted with whole tumor cell or tumor lysate-based immunization strategies or with vectors coding for genes that make the tumor immunogenic, allowing the immune system to naturally evolve specificity against immunogenic target antigens. Strategies being investigated in animal models include increasing tumor immunogenicity by targeting cytokines or costimulatory molecules to tumor; immunization with tumor cells fused with antigen-presenting cells; adoptive transfer of viral antigen-specific T cells; and targeting AFP-expressing HCC cells by DNA, adenovirus, peptide, and dendritic cell (DC) strategies. Strategies that have been tested in human clinical trials include adoptive transfer of lymphocytes and autologous tumor-pulsed DC as well as 2 AFP-based strategies: AFP-derived peptides in Montanide and AFP peptides pulsed onto autologous DC. These trials, testing novel immune-based interventions in HCC subjects, have resulted in immunologic responses and have impacted recurrence and survival in HCC subjects. PMID 15508089

Immunobiology and gene-based immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dez. 2003 | Geissler, M; Mohr, L; Ali, M Y; Grimm, C F; Ritter, M; Blum, H E
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major malignancies worldwide. For most patients with advanced or multifocal HCC treatment options are limited resulting in a poor prognosis. Several local ablation methods have been developed as minimally invasive strategies for HCC treatment. It is unclear, until now, whether these therapies will significantly improve the poor prognosis of patients with unresectable HCC. Novel therapeutic strategies and a better understanding of HCC imunobiology are, therefore, urgently required. PMID 14648380

Hyperthermia improves cellular immune response to human hepatocellular carcinoma subsequent to co-culture with tumor lysate pulsed dendritic cells.
Mai 2003 | Schueller, Gerd; Stift, Anton; Friedl, Josef; Dubsky, Peter; Bachleitner-Hofmann, Thomas; Benkoe, Thomas; Jakesz, Raimund; Gnant, Michael
Dendritic cells play a major role in cellular immunity. The crucial steps of antigen presentation and processing by DCs may be limiting factors for adoptive cellular immunotherapy. Here, we investigated whether hyperthermia of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells induces enhanced cytotoxic cellular immune response. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-derived DCs were pulsed with tumor cell lysate of the human HCC cell line HepG2, which had been heat shocked prior to incubation for 5 h. Subsequent to TNFalpha-induced maturation DCs were co-cultured with autologous CD4+ and/or CD8+ cells, and T cell mediated cytolysis of HepG2 cells was assessed. We observed enhanced CD4+/8+ cellular cytotoxicity against HepG2 cells subsequent to co-culture with the heat shocked tumor lysate pulsed DCs as compared to pulsing DCs with lysate of non-heat shocked tumor cells. The improved cellular immune response can be related to enhanced expression of HSP 70 and 90 in HepG2 cells upon hyperthermia. PMID 12739010

Effective treatment of small murine hepatocellular carcinoma by dendritic cells.
Okt. 2001 | Lee, W C; Wang, H C; Jeng, L B; Chiang, Y J; Lia, C R; Huang, P F; Chen, M F; Qian, S; Lu, L
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy with a poor prognosis. This investigation examined whether dendritic cell-based immunotherapy can treat murine HCC effectively. Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells were propagated from C57BL/10J mice in GM-CSF (4 ng/mL) and interleukin (IL)-4 (1,000 micro/mL). The dendritic cells were pulsed with a Hepa1-6 lysate overnight and employed to treat murine HCC. For in vivo study, HCC was created by inoculation of hepa1-6, 5 x 10(5) cells, in the flank of C57BL/10J mice. HCC were categorized into small (3 x 3-mm) and large (5 x 5-mm) tumors. These HCC were treated by dendritic cells intravenously, twice at weekly intervals. The results revealed that lymphocytes could be gathered around small HCC after administration of Hepa1-6 lysate-pulsed dendritic cells. Seven of 12 (58.3%) small HCC could be eradicated completely by dendritic cell-based immunotherapy, and 33.3% of the small tumors responded to immunotherapy partially which were held in a stable condition for 34.0 +/- 7.4 days before the tumors regrew. For large HCC, lymphocytes did not gather around the tumors, and the tumors cannot be eradicated effectively by dendritic cells. However, dendritic cell-based immunotherapy could slow down the growth rate of large tumors (116.2 +/- 91.4 mm(3) vs. 234.0 +/- 149.1 mm(3) of the control on day 7, P =.043; and 280.3 +/- 224.7 mm(3) vs. 870.0 +/- 418.9 mm(3) of the control on day 17, P <.001). Conclusively, dendritic cells pulsed with a Hepa1-6 lysate can be employed to treat small HCC in vivo effectively. However, the efficacy of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy decreases while tumors grow. PMID 11679960