Author(s): Kudryashov V, Glunz PW, Williams LJ, Hintermann S, Danishefsky SJ,
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Abstract The feasibility of using carbohydrate-based vaccines for the immunotherapy of cancer is being actively explored at the present time. Although a number of clinical trials have already been conducted with glycoconjugate vaccines, the optimal design and composition of the vaccines has yet to be determined. Among the candidate antigens being examined is Lewis(y) (Le(y)), a blood group-related antigen that is overexpressed on the majority of human carcinomas. Using Le(y) as a model for specificity, we have examined the role of epitope clustering, carrier structure, and adjuvant on the immunogenicity of Le(y) conjugates in mice. A glycolipopeptide containing a cluster of three contiguous Le(y)-serine epitopes and the Pam(3)Cys immunostimulating moiety was found to be superior to a similar construct containing only one Le(y)-serine epitope in eliciting antitumor cell antibodies. Because only IgM antibodies were produced by this vaccine, the effect on immunogenicity of coupling the glycopeptide to keyhole limpet hemocyanin was examined; although both IgM and IgG antibodies were formed, the antibodies reacted only with the immunizing structure. Reexamination of the clustered Le(y)-serine Pam(3)Cys conjugate with the adjuvant QS-21 resulted in the identification of both IgG and IgM antibodies reacting with tumor cells, thus demonstrating the feasibility of an entirely synthetic carbohydrate-based anticancer vaccine in an animal model.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals