Eradication of ovarian tumor xenografts by locoregional administration of targeted immunotherapy

Michelandrea De Cesare, Claudia Calcaterra, Graziella Pratesi, Laura Gatti, Franco Zunino, Sylvie Mènard, Andrea Balsari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Oligodeoxynucleotides containing unmethylated CpG motifs (CpG-ODN) are potent activators of innate and adaptive immunity. Recognition of CpG-ODN is mediated by Toll-like receptor 9 expressed by immune cells, endothelial and epithelial cells, and fibroblasts. We examined the antitumor effect of CpG-ODN and the role of administration route on human ovarian cancers growing in the peritoneal cavity of nude mice. Experimental Design: Mice implanted i.p. with human ovarian carcinoma cells were treated i.p., s.c., or i.v. and assessed for survival and tumor-free incidence. Peritoneal washings were analyzed for keratinocyte chemokine production and for functional and phenotypic profiles as indicators of the cell types involved in mediating the antitumor effects. Results: IGROV-1-bearing mice treated i.p. survived significantly longer than those treated i.v. or s.c. (P = 0.0005), and nearly half of them (8 of 17) were tumor-free by the end of the experiment, a rate never achieved using a variety of chemotherapeutic drugs. High rates of tumor-free mice were observed in three other ovarian tumor xenografts treated i.p. Compared with peritoneal washings of mice treated s.c. or i.v., those from mice treated i.p. showed the highest level of serum and tissue keratinocyte chemokine, the highest number of natural killer cells and neutrophils, and the highest antiproliferative activity in vitro. Conclusions: The superior antitumor effect obtained by locoregional administration of CpG- ODN in i.p. tumor-bearing mice with a limited adaptive immune response points to the importance of innate effector cells amplification at the site of tumor growth and suggests the promise of i.p. CpG-ODN in clinical trials for ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5512-5518
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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