Springer Nature

Comparison of personal and shared frameshift neoantigen vaccines in a mouse mammary cancer model

Posted on 2020-05-07 - 09:05
Abstract Background It is widely hoped that personal cancer vaccines will extend the number of patients benefiting from checkpoint and other immunotherapies. However, it is clear creating such vaccines will be challenging. It requires obtaining and sequencing tumor DNA/RNA, predicting potentially immunogenic neoepitopes and manufacturing a one-use vaccine. This process takes time and considerable cost. Importantly, most mutations will not produce an immunogenic peptide and many patient’s tumors do not contain enough DNA mutations to make a vaccine. We have discovered that frameshift peptides (FSP) created from errors in the production of RNA rather than from DNA mutations are potentially a rich source of neoantigens for cancer vaccines. These errors are predictable, enabling the production of a FSP microarray. Previously we found that these microarrays can identify both personal and shared neoantigens. Here, we compared the performance of personal cancer vaccines (PCVs) with that of a shared antigen vaccine, termed Frameshift Antigen Shared Therapeutic (FAST) vaccine, using the 4 T1 breast cancer model. Sera from 4 T1-tumor bearing mice were assayed on the peptide microarray containing 200 Fs neoantigens, for the PCV, the top 10 candidates were select and personal vaccines constructed and administrated to the respective mice. For the FAST, we selected the top 10 candidates with higher prevalence among all the mice challenged. Seven to 12 days challenged mice were immunized, combined or not with immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) (αPD-L1 and αCTLA-4). Primary and secondary tumor clearance and growth were evaluated as well as cellular and humoral immune response against the vaccine targets by IFN-γ ELISPOT and ELISA. Lastly, we analyzed the immune response of the FAST-vaccinated mice by flow cytometry in comparison to the control group. Results We found that PCVs and FAST vaccines both reduced primary tumor incidence and growth as well as lung metastases when delivered as monotherapies or in combination with ICI. Additionally, the FAST vaccine induces a robust and effective T-cell response. Conclusions These results suggest that FSPs produced from RNA-based errors are potent neoantigens that could enable production of off-the-shelf shared antigen vaccines for solid tumors with efficacy comparable to that of PCVs.


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BMC Immunology


Milene Peterson
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