Human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide with half a million new cases per year. Despite the encouraging development of a preventive vaccine for HPV, a therapeutic vaccine for cervical cancer or pre-cancerous lesions remains a high priority. The preclinical study reported here used VacciMax® (VM) to deliver a peptide-based vaccine composed of an HPV 16 E7-derived cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope fused to the T helper epitope PADRE (FP) and combined with CpG or lipopeptide adjuvant. In the study, C57BL/6 mice received 0.5 million HPV 16-expressing C3 tumor cells. Mice were inoculated post-tumor challenge with a single s.c. injection of FP-CpG-VM on either day 4, 5, 6, 9, or 14. All mice that received the FP-CpG-VM vaccine were tumor-free to day 130 when the experiment was terminated. In contrast, only a minority of mice that received a control vaccine were tumor-free on day 60. Cytotoxicity assays, ELISPOT and intracellular staining for interferon (IFN)-γ showed the immune response was specific for the selected CTL epitope. All mice that received the FP-CpG-VM vaccine remained tumor-free when re-challenged with 6 million C3 cells. Cytotoxicity assays 4 months post-challenge showed that only splenocytes from mice inoculated with the FP-CpG-VM vaccine had high lysis activity. These results indicate that VacciMax® causes a rapid, robust, durable and therapeutic CTL response to HPV 16 E7 protein expressing tumors.
- Cervical cancer
- Human papillomavirus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases