Immunotherapy is one of the most promising strategies for the treatment of cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for virtually all cases of cervical cancer. The main purpose of a therapeutic HPV vaccine is to stimulate CD8+cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) that can eradicate HPV infected cells. HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7 are continuously expressed and are essential for maintaining the growth of HPV-associated tumor cells. We designed polymer-based multi-antigenic formulations/constructs that were comprised of the E6 and E7 peptide epitopes. We developed an N-terminus-based epitope conjugation to conjugate two unprotected peptides to poly tert-butyl acrylate. This method allowed for the incorporation of the two antigens into a polymeric dendrimer in a strictly equimolar ratio. The most effective formulations eliminated tumors in up to 50% of treated mice. Tumor recurrence was not observed up to 3 months post initial challenge.
- Cervical cancer
- Human papillomavirus
- Peptide-based subunit vaccine
- Polymer–peptide conjugate
- Therapeutic cancer vaccine