A single immunization with cellular vaccine confers dual protection against SARS-CoV-2 and cancer

This article was originally published here

Cancer Sci. 2022 May 22. doi: 10.1111/cas.15434. Online ahead of print.


The efficacy of current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines has been demonstrated; however, emerging evidence suggests insufficient protection in certain immunocompromised cancer patients. We previously developed a cell-based anti-cancer vaccine platform involving artificial adjuvant vector cells (aAVCs) capable of inducing a strong adaptive response by enhancing innate immunity. aAVCs are target antigen-transfected allogenic cells that simultaneously express the natural killer T cell ligand-CD1d complex on their surface. In the present study, we applied this system for targeting the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (CoV-2-S) by using CoV-2-S-expressing aAVCs (aAVC-CoV-2) and evaluated the immune response in a murine model. A single dose of aAVC-CoV-2 induced a large amount of CoV-2-S-specific, multifunctional CTLs in addition to CD4+ T cell-dependent anti-CoV-2-S-specific Abs. CoV-2-S-specific CTLs infiltrated the lung parenchyma and persisted as long-term memory T cells. Furthermore, we immunized mice with CoV-2-S- and tumor-associated antigen (TAA)-co-expressing aAVCs (aAVC-TAA/CoV-2) and evaluated whether the anti-SARS-CoV-2 and antitumor CTLs were elicited. We found that the aAVC-TAA/CoV-2-S therapy exerted apparent antitumor effects and induced CoV-2-S-specific CTLs. These findings suggest aAVC-TAA/CoV-2-S therapy as a promising vaccine candidate for preventing COVID-19, as well as enhancing the effectiveness of cancer therapies.

PMID:35598170 | DOI:10.1111/cas.15434