Telomerase and HER-2/neu as targets of genetic cancer vaccines in dogs

Daniela Peruzzi, Giuseppe Mesiti, Gennaro Ciliberto, Nicola La Monica, Luigi Aurisicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pet dogs represent a valuable pre-clinical model to assess the efficacy of oncology drugs. Additionally, canine cancers occur with an incidence similar to that of humans and share many features with human malignancies including histological appearance, tumor genetics, biological behavior and response to conventional therapies. The telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is reactivated in most of human and dog tumors. Similarly, HER-2/neu oncoprotein is overexpressed in a proportion of canine breast cancers. Therefore, TERT and HER-2/neu can constitute valid tumor associated antigens (TAA), suitable targets for translational cancer immunotherapy in dogs. In this study, we have evaluated the ability of DNA electroporation (DNA-EP) and Adenovirus serotype 6 (Ad6) to induce immune responses against dog TERT (dTERT) and HER-2/neu in healthy dogs. Vaccination was effective in all treated animals and the adaptive immune response remained detectable and long-lasting in the absence of autoimmunity or other side-effects. Our results show that DNA-EP/Ad6-based cancer vaccine induces adaptive immune responses against TAA in canine subjects and support further evaluation of this approach in cancer dog patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1208
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2010


  • Adenovirus
  • DNA-EP
  • Tumor immunity
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)
  • Molecular Medicine

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