A prime/boost strategy by DNA/fowlpox recombinants expressing a mutant E7 protein for the immunotherapy of HPV-associated cancers

Antonia Radaelli, Carlo De Giuli Morghen, Carlo Zanotto, Sole Pacchioni, Massimiliano Bissa, Rosella Franconi, Silvia Massa, Francesca Paolini, Antonio Muller, Aldo Venuti

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Development of effective therapeutic vaccines against human papilloma virus (HPV) infections remains a priority, considering the high number of new cases of cervical cancer each year by high-risk HPVs, in particular by HPV-16. Vaccines expressing the E7 oncoprotein, which is detectable in all HPV-positive pre-cancerous and cancer cells, might clear already established tumors and support the treatment of HPV-related lesions. In this study, DNA or fowlpox virus recombinants expressing the harmless variant E7GGG of the HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein (DNAE7GGGand FPE7GGG) were generated. Two immunization regimens were tested in a pre-clinical mouse model by homologous (FP/FP) or heterologous (DNA/FP) prime-boost protocols to evaluate the immune response and therapeutic efficacy of the proposed HPV-16 vaccine. Low levels of anti-E7-specific antibodies were elicited after immunization, and in vivo experiments resulted in a higher number of tumor-free mice after the heterologous immunization. These results establish a preliminary indication for therapy of HPV-related tumors by the combined use of DNA and avipox recombinants, which might represent safer immunogens than vaccinia-based vaccines. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44 - 52
Number of pages9
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research

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