A tat fusion protein-based tumor vaccine for breast cancer

Carsten T. Viehl, Michelle Becker-Hapak, Jason S. Lewis, Yoshiyuki Tanaka, Udaya K. Liyanage, David C. Linehan, Timothy J. Eberlein, Peter S. Goedegebuure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: We recently reported that dendritic cells (DCs) transduced with a fusion protein between Her2/neu and the protein transduction domain Tat (DC-Tat-extracellular domain [ECD]) induced Her2/neu-specific CD8+ T cells in vitro. This study tested the in vivo efficacy of DC-Tat-ECD in a murine breast cancer model. Methods: FVB/N mice received one or two weekly intraperitoneal immunizations with syngeneic DC-Tat-ECD followed by a tumor challenge with syngeneic neu + breast cancer cells, and tumor development was monitored. To test for Her2/neu specificity, CD4+ and CD8+ cells were isolated through magnetic bead separation and analyzed for specific interferon γ release. Results: Intraperitoneally injected DCs migrated to secondary lymphoid organs, as evidenced by small-animal positron emission tomography studies. Immunized mice developed palpable tumors significantly later than control mice injected with DC-Tat-empty (P = .001 and P < .05 for two immunizations and for one immunization, respectively) or mice that received no DCs (P = .001 and P < .05). Similarly, immunized mice had smaller resulting tumors than mice injected with DC-Tat-empty (P < .05 and P < .01) or untreated mice (P < .001 and P < .001). Significantly more tumor-specific CD8+ splenocytes were found in twice-immunized mice than in untreated animals (P < .001). Similarly, a T-helper type 1 CD4 + T-cell response was observed. Conclusions: Protein-transduced DCs may be effective vaccines for the treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Animal study
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer vaccine
  • Her2/neu
  • Tat fusion protein


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