Vaccination can provide a safe alternative to chemotherapy by using the body's natural defense mechanisms to create a potent immune response against tumor cells. Peptide-based therapeutic vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers are usually designed to elicit cytotoxic T cell responses by targeting the HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein. However, peptides alone lack immunogenicity, and an additional adjuvant or external delivery system is required. In this study, we developed new polymer-peptide conjugates to create an efficient self-adjuvanting system for peptide-based therapeutic vaccines. These conjugates reduced tumor growth and eradicated E7-positive TC-1 tumors in mice after a "ingle shot" immunization, without the help from an external adjuvant. The new conjugates had a significantly higher anticancer efficacy than the antigen formulated with a commercial adjuvant. Furthermore, the polymer-peptide conjugates were promptly taken up by antigen presenting cells, including dendritic cells and macrophages, and efficiently activated CD4+ T-helper cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte cells.
- Peptide Vaccine