Purpose: We sought to demonstrate that a single systemic administration of L19mTNFα (a fusion protein constituted by the scFv L19 specific for the oncofetal ED-B domain of fibronectin and tumor necrosis factor α, TNFα) in combination with melphalan induced complete and long-lasting tumor eradication in tumor-bearing mice and triggered the generation of a specific T cell - based immune response that protects the animals from a second tumor challenge, as well as from challenges with syngeneic tumor cells of different histologic origin. Experimental Design and Results: Treatment with L19mTNFα, in combination with melphalan, induced complete tumor regression in 83% of BALB/c mice with WEHI-164 fibrosarcoma and 33% of animals with C51 colon carcinoma. All cured mice rejected challenges with the same tumor cells and, in a very high percentage of animals, also rejected challenges with syngeneic tumor cells of different histologic origin. In adoptive immunity transfer experiments, the splenocytes from tumor-cured mice protected naive mice both from C51 colon carcinoma and from WEHI-164 fibrosarcoma. Similar results were also obtained in adoptive immunity transfer experiments using severely immunodepressed mice. Experiments using depleted splenocytes showed that T cells play a major role in tumor rejection. Conclusions: The results show that the selective targeting of mTNFα to the tumor enhances its immunostimulatory properties to the point of generating a therapeutic immune response against different histologically unrelated syngeneic tumors. These findings predicate treatment approaches for cancer patients based on the targeted delivery of TNFα to the tumor vasculature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research