PURPOSE: CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN) are being investigated as cancer vaccine adjuvants because they mature plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) into potent antigen-presenting cells. CpG-ODN also induce PDC to secrete chemokines that alter lymphocyte migration. Whether CpG-ODN TLR signals enhance antigen-specific immunity and/or trafficking in humans is unknown.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We conducted a phase I study of CpG-ODN (1018 ISS) given as a vaccine adjuvant with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to induce T-cell immunity to a peptide vaccine from the tumor-associated antigen hTERT.
RESULTS: The adjuvant effect was limited; only 1 of 16 patients showed a high-frequency hTERT-specific tetramer CD8(+) T-cell response. However, CpG-ODN induced marked, transient peripheral blood lymphopenia. Biopsies showed dense lymphocytic infiltration at the vaccine site clustered around activated PDC. In vitro, CpG-ODN-treated PDC induced T-cell migration, showing that CpG-ODN stimulation of human PDC was sufficient to chemoattract T cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that (a) CpG-ODN with GM-CSF may not be an effective adjuvant strategy for hTERT peptide vaccines but (b) GM-CSF/CpG-ODN causes a PDC-mediated chemokine response that recruits T-cell migration to the peripheral tissues. These findings suggest a novel therapeutic role for targeted injections of CpG-ODN to direct lymphocyte migration to specific sites such as the tumor bed.
- Adjuvants, Immunologic
- Cancer Vaccines
- Cell Movement
- Dendritic Cells
- Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
- Toll-Like Receptor 9
- Vaccines, Subunit