Browsing by Subject "T-CELL THERAPY"

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  • Cervera-Carrascon, Victor; Quixabeira, Dafne C. A.; Santos, Joao M.; Havunen, Riikka; Milenova, Ioanna; Verhoeff, Jan; Heinio, Camilla; Zafar, Sadia; Garcia-Vallejo, Juan J.; van Beusechem, Victor W.; de Gruijl, Tanja D.; Kalervo, Aino; Sorsa, Suvi; Kanerva, Anna; Hemminki, Akseli (2021)
    Immune checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-1 have revolutionized the field of oncology over the past decade. Nevertheless, the majority of patients do not benefit from them. Virotherapy is a flexible tool that can be used to stimulate and/or recruit different immune populations. T-cell enabling virotherapy could enhance the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors, even in tumors resistant to these inhibitors. The T-cell potentiating virotherapy used here consisted of adenoviruses engineered to express tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-2 in the tumor microenvironment. To study virus efficacy in checkpoint-inhibitor resistant tumors, we developed an anti-PD-1 resistant melanoma model in vivo. In resistant tumors, adding virotherapy to an anti-PD-1 regimen resulted in increased survival (p=0.0009), when compared to anti-PD-1 monotherapy. Some of the animals receiving virotherapy displayed complete responses, which did not occur in the immune checkpoint-inhibitor monotherapy group. When adenoviruses were delivered into resistant tumors, there were signs of increased CD8 T-cell infiltration and activation, which - together with a reduced presence of M2 macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells - could explain those results. T-cell enabling virotherapy appeared as a valuable tool to counter resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors. The clinical translation of this approach could increase the number of cancer patients benefiting from immunotherapies.
  • Fusciello, Manlio; Fontana, Flavia; Tähtinen, Siri; Capasso, Cristian; Feola, Sara; da Silva Lopes Martins, Beatriz; Chiaro, Jacopo; Peltonen, Karita; Ylösmäki, Leena; Ylösmäki, Erkko; Hamdan Hissaoui, Firas; Kari, Otto K.; Ndika, Joseph; Alenius, Harri; Urtti, Arto; Hirvonen, Jouni T.; Santos, Hélder A.; Cerullo, Vincenzo (2019)
    Virus-based cancer vaccines are nowadays considered an interesting approach in the field of cancer immunotherapy, despite the observation that the majority of the immune responses they elicit are against the virus and not against the tumor. In contrast, targeting tumor associated antigens is effective, however the identification of these antigens remains challenging. Here, we describe ExtraCRAd, a multi-vaccination strategy focused on an oncolytic virus artificially wrapped with tumor cancer membranes carrying tumor antigens. We demonstrate that ExtraCRAd displays increased infectivity and oncolytic effect in vitro and in vivo. We show that this nanoparticle platform controls the growth of aggressive melanoma and lung tumors in vivo both in preventive and therapeutic setting, creating a highly specific anti-cancer immune response. In conclusion, ExtraCRAd might serve as the next generation of personalized cancer vaccines with enhanced features over standard vaccination regimens, representing an alternative way to target cancer.
  • Santos, Joao; Heiniö, Camilla; Quixabeira, Dafne; Zafar, Sadia; Clubb, James; Pakola, Santeri; Cervera-Carrascon, Victor; Havunen, Riikka; Kanerva, Anna; Hemminki, Akseli (2021)
    Immunotherapy with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) or oncolytic adenoviruses, have shown promising results in cancer treatment, when used as separate therapies. When used in combination, the antitumor effect is synergistically potentiated due oncolytic adenovirus infection and its immune stimulating effects on T cells. Indeed, studies in hamsters have shown a 100% complete response rate when animals were treated with oncolytic adenovirus coding for TNFa and IL-2 (Ad5/3-E2F-D24-hTNFa-IRES-hIL2; TILT-123) and TIL therapy. In humans, one caveat with oncolytic virus therapy is that intratumoral injection has been traditionally preferred over systemic administration, for achieving sufficient virus concentrations in tumors, especially when neutralizing antibodies emerge. We have previously shown that 5/3 chimeric oncolytic adenovirus can bind to human lymphocytes for avoidance of neutralization. In this study, we hypothesized that incubation of oncolytic adenovirus (TILT-123) with TILs prior to systemic injection would allow delivery of virus to tumors. This approach would deliver both components in one self-amplifying product. TILs would help deliver TILT-123, whose replication will recruit more TILs and increase their cytotoxicity. In vitro, TILT-123 was seen binding efficiently to lymphocytes, supporting the idea of dual administration. We show in vivo in different models that virus could be delivered to tumors with TILs as carriers.
  • Cervera-Carrascon, V.; Siurala, M.; Santos, J. M.; Havunen, R.; Tähtinen, S.; Karell, P.; Sorsa, S.; Kanerva, A.; Hemminki, A. (2018)
    Releasing the patient's immune system against their own malignancy by the use of checkpoint inhibitors is delivering promising results. However, only a subset of patients currently benefit from them. One major limitation of these therapies relates to the inability of T cells to detect or penetrate into the tumor resulting in unresponsiveness to checkpoint inhibition. Virotherapy is an attractive tool for enabling checkpoint inhibitors as viruses are naturally recognized by innate defense elements which draws the attention of the immune system. Besides their intrinsic immune stimulating properties, the adenoviruses used here are armed to express tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) and interleukin-2 (IL-2). These cytokines result in immunological danger signaling and multiple appealing T-cell effects, including trafficking, activation and propagation. When these viruses were injected into B16.OVA melanoma tumors in animals concomitantly receiving programmed cell-death protein 1 (PD-1) blocking antibodies both tumor growth control (p <0.0001) and overall survival (p <0.01) were improved. In this set-up, the addition of adoptive cell therapy with OT-I lymphocytes did not increase efficacy further. When virus injections were initiated before antibody treatment in a prime-boost approach, 100% of tumors regressed completely and all mice survived. Viral expression of IL2 and TNFa altered the cytokine balance in the tumor microenvironment towards Th1 and increased the intratumoral proportion of CD8+ and conventional CD4+ T cells. These preclinical studies provide the rationale and schedule for a clinical trial where oncolytic adenovirus coding for TNFa and IL-2 (TILT-123) is used in melanoma patients receiving an anti-PD-1 antibody.