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Targeting TLR-4 with a novel pharmaceutical grade plant derived agonist, Immunomax®, as a therapeutic strategy for metastatic breast cancer.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-014-0322-y
BackgroundPreviously we demonstrated that the resection of primary 4T1 tumors only slightly prolongs mouse survival, but importantly, creates a "window of opportunity" with attenuated suppressor cell and increased activated T cell populations. This suggests that additional activation of the immune system by immunostimulatory agents during this period may enhance anti-tumor immunity and potentially eradicate micro-metastatic disease in this stringent model. We hypothesized that the immunostimulator Immunomax®, which is comprised of a plant-derived polysaccharide, is non-toxic in humans and stimulates immune defense during the infectious diseases treatment, may have also anti-tumor activity and be beneficial in the adjuvant setting when endogenous anti-tumor responses are present and during the "window of opportunity" in post-resection metastatic breast cancer model. Here we provide the initial report that Immunomax® demonstrates the capacity to eliminate micro-metastatic disease in the post-resection, 4T1 mouse model of breast cancer.
MethodsThe efficacy of Immunomax® was evaluated by analyzing survival rate and the number of spontaneous clonogenic tumor cells in the lung homogenates of mice. The frequencies of activated NK, CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells as well as myeloid-derived suppressor cells and Treg cells were evaluated using flow cytometry. Highly purified mouse and human dendritic and NK cells were sorted and the effect of Immunomax® on activation status of these cells was assessed by flow cytometry. The property of Immunomax® as TLR-4 agonist was determined by NF-κB/SEAP reporter gene assay, WB, RT-PCR.
ResultsImmunomax® injections significantly prolonged overall survival and cured 31% of mice. This immunostimulator activates DCs via the TLR-4, which in turn stimulates tumoricidal NK cells and in vitro, completely inhibits growth of 4T1 cells. Incubation of PBMC from healthy donors with Immunomax® activates NK cells via activation of plasmacytoid DC leading significantly higher efficacy in killing of human NK-target cells K562 compared with non-treated cells.
ConclusionThis is the first demonstration that Immunomax® is a TLR-4 agonist and the first report of a documented role for this pharmaceutical grade immunostimulator in augmenting anti-tumor activity, suggesting that incorporation of Immunomax® into developing breast cancer therapeutic strategies may be beneficial and with less potential toxicity than checkpoint inhibitors.
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