Cancer vaccines co-targeting HER2/NEU and IGF1R

Carla De Giovanni, Lorena Landuzzi, Arianna Palladini, Marianna Lucia Ianzano, Giordano Nicoletti, Francesca Ruzzi, Augusto Amici, Stefania Croci, Patrizia Nanni, Pier Luigi Lollini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)/neu-driven carcinogenesis is delayed by preventive vaccines able to elicit autochthonous antibodies against HER2/neu. Since cooperation between different receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) can occur in human as well as in experimental tumors, we investigated the set-up of DNA and cell vaccines to elicit an antibody response co-targeting two RTKs: HER2/neu and the Insulin-like Growth Factor Receptor-1 (IGF1R). (2) Methods: Plasmid vectors carrying the murine optimized IGF1R sequence or the human IGF1R isoform were used as electroporated DNA vaccines. IGF1R plasmids were transfected in allogeneic HER2/neu-positive IL12-producing murine cancer cells to obtain adjuvanted cell vaccines co-expressing HER2/neu and IGF1R. Vaccination was administered in the preneoplastic stage to mice prone to develop HER2/neu-driven, IGF1R-dependent rhabdomyosarcoma. (3) Results: Electroporated DNA vaccines for murine IGF1R did not elicit anti-mIGF1R antibodies, even when combined with Treg-depletion and/or IL12, while DNA vaccines carrying the human IGF1R elicited antibodies recognizing only the human IGF1R isoform. Cell vaccines co-expressing HER2/neu and murine or human IGF1R succeeded in eliciting antibodies recognizing the murine IGF1R isoform. Cell vaccines co-targeting HER2/neu and murine IGF1R induced the highest level of anti-IGF1R antibodies and nearly significantly delayed the onset of spontaneous rhabdomyosarcomas. (4) Conclusions: Multi-engineered adjuvanted cancer cell vaccines can break the tolerance towards a highly tolerized RTK, such as IGF1R. Cell vaccines co-targeting HER2/neu and IGF1R elicited low levels of specific antibodies that slightly delayed onset of HER2/neu-driven, IGF1R-dependent tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number517
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 2019


  • Cancer vaccines
  • DNA vaccines
  • HER2/neu
  • IGF1R
  • Muscle neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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