Cancer immunotherapy has led to significant improvement in the survival of patients with previously untreatable malignancies. The use of therapeutic vaccines is a promising form of immunotherapy, but their efficacy remains ambiguous. Much of the difficulty in identifying the optimal formulation and delivery is related to the complicated nature of the immune response, where it is uncertain which aspects would be most effective in destroying cancer cells. In this thesis, a novel polymeric delivery system, involving poly (caprolactone)-co-poly (ortho ester) [PCL-POE], was used to deliver tumor antigens and adjuvants in a controlled manner. We hypothesized that persistent release of tumor antigens from the biodegradable polymer would result in an increase in the number and persistence of anti-tumor lymphocytes in the effector state. To test this hypothesis, vaccines were administered to mice and the time dependent immunological response was evaluated. The polymeric delivery system resulted in an in vitro release profile characterized by a burst release of both antigen and adjuvant followed, in both cases, by a much slower phase of release. We also observed that the slow release provided by the PCL-POE polymer stimulated prolonged maturation of dendritic cells, activation and persistence of anti-OVA antibodies and antigen-specific T cells following a single vaccination. The vaccine system was also tested in a mouse model of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). We observed a significant, potentially translatable increase in overall survival.
University of Minnesota Master of Science thesis. August 2014. Major: Pharmaceutics. Advisors: John R. Ohlfest, PhD (deceased), Timothy Wiedmann, PhD. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 86 pages.
Grinnen, Karen Lynn.
Immunological benefits of a novel polycaprolactone-polyorthoester-based therapeutic vaccine in a mouse model of glioma.
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