Peptide-based B-cell epitope vaccines targeting HER-2/neu
HER-2/neu (ErbB2), a member of the epidermal growth factor family of receptors (EGFR) is overexpressed in a significant fraction of breast cancers. It is an attractive target for receptor-directed antitumor therapy using monoclonal antibodies. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab are growth-inhibitory humanized antibodies targeting the oncogenic protein HER-2/neu. Although passive immunotherapy with trastuzumab is approved for treatment of breast cancer, a number of concerns exist with passive immunotherapy. Treatment is expensive, and has a limited duration of action, necessitating repeated administrations of the monoclonal antibody. Active immunotherapy with conformational B-cell epitopes affords the possibility of generating an enduring immune response, eliciting protein-reactive high-affinity anti-peptide antibodies. The three-dimensional structure of human HER-2 in complex with trastuzumab has allowed us to design four synthetic peptides with different levels of conformational flexibility. The 597-626 epitope was immunogenic in outbred rabbits eliciting antibodies which recognized HER-2, competed with trastuzumab for the same epitope, inhibited proliferation of HER-2-expressing breast cancer cells in vitro and caused their antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Moreover, immunization with the 597-626 epitope significantly reduced tumor burden in transgenic BALB-neuT mice. Based on the three-dimensional structure of the HER-2: pertuzumab Fab fragment complex, we have designed three conformational peptide constructs to mimic regions of the dimerization loop of the receptor and to characterize their in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor efficacy. The 266-296 peptide vaccine statistically reduced tumor onset in both transplantable tumor models (FVB/n and BALB/c) and significant reduction in tumor development in a transgenic mouse tumor model (Balb-neuT). Finally, we report on a phase I clinical trial using the first generation peptide vaccines MVF 316-339 and MVF 628-647 with nor-MDP as adjuvant. The goals of the trial were to determine the safety and toxicity of the vaccine as well as the maximum tolerable dose. The vaccine was well-tolerated and the maximum tolerable dose was identified as the highest dose level. Additionally, patients produced antibodies of the IgG isotype against the vaccine, and patients receiving the highest dose level had a statistically significant increase in the IgG antibody response compared to patients receiving the lowest dose level.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:antibodies antigens peptides epitopes vaccination her 2
Date of Publication:01/01/2007