Targeting tumors with nonreplicating Toxoplasma gondii uracil auxotroph vaccines

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Barbara A. Fox, Kiah L. Sanders, Shan Chen, and David J. Bzik Trends in Parasitology, 2013-09-01, Volume 29, Issue 9, Pages 431-437 Copyright © © 2013 Elsevier Ltd Highlights • Immunotherapy based on avirulent Toxoplasma reverses tumor-associated immune suppression. • Toxoplasma activates tumor-specific CD8 + T cell responses. • Toxoplasma immunotherapy regresses established solid tumors. Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that has evolved to actively control its invaded host cells. Toxoplasma triggers then actively regulates host innate interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) responses that elicit T cell control of infection. A live, nonreplicating avirulent uracil auxotroph vaccine strain ( cps) of Toxoplasma triggers novel innate immune responses that stimulate amplified CD8 + T cell responses and life-long immunity in vaccinated mice. Here, we review recent reports showing that intratumoral treatment with cps activated immune-mediated regression of established solid tumors in mice. We speculate that a better understanding of host–parasite interaction at the molecular level and applying improved genetic models based on Δ ku80 Toxoplasma strains will stimulate development of highly effective immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine strategies using engineered uracil auxotrophs.

Comments

There are similarities between Toxoplasma and scabies, and Psorinum could be viewed as a substance creating an immune reaction against scabies which crossreacts with cancer antigens.