Generation of anti-idiotypic reagents in the EGFRvIII tumor-associated antigen system
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The use of anti-idiotype (anti-id) vaccines for immunotherapy of human cancers is attractive, as immunization with true anti-id reagents (Ab2β) has been shown to induce both cellular and humoral immunity, frequently when the original antigen does not, or when a state of anergy to the self-expressed tumor-associated antigen exists. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of an anti-id vaccine approach to the glioma-associated antigen epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) for human clinical trials. By using conventional methodology, seven rat mAbs specific for the binding site of the murine anti-EGFRvIII-specific mAb Y10, as defined by the ability to inhibit the binding of mAb Y10 to EGFRvIII expressed on cells or as purified protein, were generated, and a subset (3/7) was found to be true Ab2β, as defined by the ability to induce the formation of antibody directed against EGFRvIII in two species (mouse and rabbit) when used as immunogen. The ability of these three Ab2β to elicit a protective anti-tumor response when used as a vaccine in the syngeneic, subcutaneous C57Bl/6-B16mseEGFRvIII tumor model was investigated. Following vaccination with one Ab2β mAb (2C7), 6/20 mice failed to develop tumor upon challenge, and 3/20 mice with outgrowing tumors exhibited dramatic regression of incipient tumors. Vaccination with a second mAb (5G8) resulted in one tumor-free survivor and one tumor regressor; vaccination with the third Ab2β mAb (7D3) did not confer protection, but did significantly increase the latency period until tumor outgrowth in all vaccinated recipients. The ability of Ab2β mAb 2C7 to induce an anti-EGFRvIII response in non-human primates was investigated by using the saponin adjuvant approved for human clinical trial, QS-21. Three of three macaques produced anti-EGFRvIII titers, as detected on EGFRvIII-expressing cells by both ELISA and fluorescence-activated cytometric analysis, following six immunizations with Ab2β mAb 2C7 and QS-21. The results obtained confirm that an anti-id response in the EGFRvIII antigen system can be induced in rodents, rabbits, and non-human primates, and it may prove a useful adjunct to immunotherapeutic approaches to EGFRvIII-positive gliomas, breast carcinomas, and non-small-cell lung tumors.
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