Bovine papillomavirus prostate cancer antigen virus-like particle vaccines are efficacious in advanced cancers in the TRAMP mouse spontaneous prostate cancer model

Brian W. Simons, Fabiana Cannella, Dayana T. Rowley, Raphael P. Viscidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prostate cancer is a candidate for immunotherapy because cancer cells express tissue-specific proteins that can be therapeutic targets. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors and active immunization have performed poorly in clinical trials. We developed a novel virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine composed of bovine papillomavirus L1 protein engineered to display surface docking sites. We decorated VLPs with peptides encoding T cell epitopes from two prostate cancer-associated tumor antigens, prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP-1 and PAP-2), and a neo-antigen, stimulator of prostatic adenocarcinoma-specific T cells (SPAS-1). The VLP vaccines induced a mean frequency of antigen-specific IFN-γ secreting CD8 + T cells of 2.9% to PSCA, 9.5% to SPAS-1, 0.03% to PAP-1, and 0.03% to PAP-2 in tumor-bearing TRAMP mice. We treated TRAMP mice at 19–20 weeks of age, when mice have advanced stages of carcinogenesis, with either VLP vaccine, anti-PD1 antibody, or combination immunotherapy. The VLP vaccine alone or in combination with anti-PD1 antibody significantly reduced tumor burden, while anti-PD1 antibody had a modest non-significant therapeutic effect. All treatments significantly increased CD3 + and CD8 + T cell infiltration into tumor tissue compared to control mice, and combination therapy resulted in significantly greater CD3 + and CD8 + T cell infiltration than monotherapy. Reduction in tumor burden in vaccine-treated mice was inversely correlated with CD8 + T cell numbers in tumor tissue. No other immunotherapy has shown efficacy in this animal model of advanced prostate cancer, making bovine papillomavirus VLPs an attractive vaccine technology to test in patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-651
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • Antigen-specific CD8 + T cells
  • Bovine papillomavirus
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • Prostate cancer
  • TRAMP mice
  • VLP vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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