Oral Presentation International Veterinary Immunology Symposium 2016

The pig as a large preclinical model for therapeutic human anti-cancer vaccine development (#28)

Nana H Overgaard 1 , Thomas M Frøsig 1 , Simon Welner 1 , Michael Rasmussen 2 , Jeanne T Jakobsen 1 , Mette Ilsøe 1 , Maria R Sørensen 1 , Mads H Andersen 3 , Søren Buus 4 , Dennis Christensen 5 , Gregers Jungersen 1
  1. Technical University of Denmark, National Veterinary Institute, Frederiksberg C, DENMARK, Denmark
  2. Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Department of Hematology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark
  4. Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Department of Infectious Disease Immunology, State Serum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark

Development of therapeutic cancer vaccines has largely been based on rodent models and the majority failed to establish therapeutic responses in clinical trials. We therefore used pigs as a large animal model for human cancer vaccine development due to the large similarity between the porcine and human immunome. We administered peptides derived from porcine IDO, a cancer antigen important in human disease, formulated in Th1-inducing adjuvants to outbred pigs. By in silico prediction 136 candidate IDO-derived peptides were identified and peptide-SLA class I complex stability measurements revealed 89 stable (t½ ≥ 0.5 hour) complexes with expressed SLA alleles. By IFN-γ ELISpot we showed that it was possible to break the peripheral tolerance and induce a cell-mediated response to an endogenous antigen. Mounting a proper Th1 response is highly dependent on peptide dose; we therefore designed a dose titration study with 15 Göttingen minipigs receiving intraperitoneal injections of either 1 µg, 10 µg or 100 µg of 30-31mer peptides covering the majority of IDO-derived potential cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes. Peptides were formulated in CAF09, an adjuvant comprised of cationic DDA liposomes decorated with poly (I:C) and MMG as immune modulators. Interestingly, the 1 µg group was the only one showing responses to all immunization peptides following seven injections as determined by IFN-γ ELISpot. These data show that a reduction in dose can result in a highly specific Th1-biased response. To test the CTL functionality we designed an in vivo cytotoxicity assay, where purified autologous PBMCs fluorescently labelled and pulsed with IDO-derived target peptides were administered intravenously into each donor and killing capacity was measured by flow cytometry. All animals receiving 10 µg peptide immunizations showed specific killing of peptide-pulsed target cells one week post i.v. transfer with certain animals reaching close to 60% specific killing capacity in vivo.