Treatment with an immature dendritic cell-targeting vaccine supplemented with IFN-α and an inhibitor of DNA methylation markedly enhances survival in a murine melanoma model

James T. Gordy, Kun Luo, Aakanksha Kapoor, Emily S. Kim, Samuel K. Ayeh, Petros C. Karakousis, Richard B. Markham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The chemokine MIP-3α (CCL20) binds to CCR6 on immature dendritic cells. DNA vaccines fusing MIP-3α to melanoma-associated antigens have shown improved efficacy and immunogenicity in the B16F10 mouse melanoma model. Here, we report that the combination of type-I interferon therapy (IFNα) with 5-Aza-2′-deoxycitidine (5Aza) profoundly enhanced the therapeutic efficacy of a MIP-3α-Gp100-Trp2 DNA vaccine. Methods: Beginning on day 5 post-transplantation of B16F10 melanoma, vaccine was administered intramuscularly (i.m.) by electroporation. CpG adjuvant was given 2 days later. 5Aza was given intraperitoneally at 1 mg/kg and IFNα therapy either intratumorally or i.m. as noted. Tumor sizes, tumor growth, and mouse survival were assessed. Tumor lysate gene expression levels and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were assessed by qRT-PCR and flow cytometry, respectively. Results: Adding IFNα and 5Aza treatments to mice vaccinated with MIP-3α-Gp100-Trp2 leads to reduced tumor burden and increased median survival (39% over vaccine and 95% over controls). Tumor lysate expression of CCL19 and CCR7 were upregulated ten and fivefold over vaccine, respectively. Vaccine-specific and overall CD8+ TILs were increased over vaccine (sevenfold and fourfold, respectively), as well as the proportion of TILs that were CD8+ (twofold). Conclusions: Efficient targeting of antigen to immature dendritic cells with a chemokine-fusion vaccine offers an alternative to classic and dendritic cell vaccines. Combining this approach with IFNα and 5Aza treatment significantly improved vaccine efficacy. This improved efficacy correlated with changes in chemokine gene expression and CD8+ TIL infiltration and was dependent on the presence of all therapeutic components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-580
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • 5-Aza-2′-Deoxycytidine (a.k.a. Decitabine, Dacogen)
  • B16F10 Melanoma
  • CCL19
  • DNA vaccine
  • Interferon alpha
  • MIP-3 alpha (a.k.a CCL20)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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