We have constructed a plasmid DNA encoding the full-length cDNA for human carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) driven by the cytomegalovirus early promoter/enhancer and demonstrated that this plasmid can function as a polynucleotide vaccine. The immune response elicited by the CEA polynucleotide vaccine is dose and schedule dependent. There appears to be a threshold dose of 50 μg capable of inducing CEA-specific lymphoblastic transformation, lymphokine release, and antibody response. Doses of 10 μg were significantly less effective. When 50-μg doses are employed, thrice weekly or weekly vaccination schedules more reliably elicit CEA-specific immune responses by day 43 than does an every-3-weeks schedule. Furthermore the CEA polynucleotide vaccine can immunoprotect against challenge with syngeneic CEA-transduced colon carcinoma cells as early as 3 weeks after the first vaccination. Studies are ongoing to demonstrate the ability of CEA polynucleotide vaccination to treat pre-existing syngeneic mouse colon and breast carcinomas expressing human CEA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalGene therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


  • Cancer
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen
  • Gene therapy
  • Genetic immunization
  • Polynucleotide vaccine
  • Tumor


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