Induction of protective and therapeutic anti-pancreatic cancer immunity using a reconstructed MUC1 DNA vaccine

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Abstract

Background: Pancreatic cancer is a common, highly lethal disease with a rising incidence. MUC1 is a tumor-associated antigen that is over-expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Active immunotherapy that targets MUC1 could have great treatment value. Here we investigated the preventive and therapeutic effect of a MUC1 DNA vaccine on the pancreatic cancer. Methods: MUC1-various tandem repeat units (VNTR) DNA vaccine was produced by cloning one repeat of VNTR and inserting the cloned gene into the pcDNA3.1. In the preventive group, female C57BL/6 mice were immunized with the vaccine, pcDNA3.1 or PBS; and challenged with panc02-MUC1 or panc02 cell. In the therapeutic group the mice were challenged with panc02-MUC1 or panc02 cell, and then immunized with the vaccine, pcDNA3.1 or PBS. The tumor size and the survival time of the animals were compared between these groups. Results: The DNA vaccine pcDNA3.1-VNTR could raise cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity specific for MUC1. In the preventive experiment, the mice survival time was significantly longer in the vaccine group than in the control groups (P < 0.05). In the therapeutic experiment, the DNA vaccine prolonged the survival time of the panc02-MUC1-bearing mice (P < 0.05). In both the preventive and therapeutic experiments, the tumor size was significantly less in the vaccine group than in the control groups (P < 0.05). This pcDNA3.1-VNTR vaccine, however, could not prevent the mice attacked by panc02 cells and had no therapeutic effect on the mice attacked by panc02 cells. Conclusion: The MUC1 DNA vaccine pcDNA3.1-VNTR could induce a significant MUC1-specific CTL response; and had both prophylactic and therapeutic effect on panc02-MUC1 tumors. This vaccine might be used as a new adjuvant strategy against pancreatic cancer. © 2009 Rong et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Rong, Y., Jin, D., Wu, W., Lou, W., Wang, D., Kuang, T., … Qin, X. (2009). Induction of protective and therapeutic anti-pancreatic cancer immunity using a reconstructed MUC1 DNA vaccine. BMC Cancer, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2407-9-191

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