The BALB/c Meth A sarcoma carries a p53 missense mutation at codon 234, which occurs in a peptide, termed 234CM, capable of being presented to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) by H-2Kd molecules (Noguchi, Y., E.C. Richards, Y.-T. Chen, and L.J. Old. 1994. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 91:3171-3175). Immunization of BALB/c mice with bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DC), generated in the presence of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin 4, and prepulsed with the Meth A p53 mutant peptide, induced CTL that specifically recognized peptide-pulsed P815 cells, as well as Meth A cells naturally expressing this epitope. Immunization with this vaccine also protected naive mice from a subsequent tumor challenge, and it inhibited tumor growth in mice bearing day 7 subcutaneous Meth A tumors. We additionally determined that immunization of BALB/c mice with DC pulsed with the p53 peptide containing the wild-type residue at position 234, 234CW, induced peptide-specific CTL that reacted against several methylcholanthrene-induced BALB/c sarcomas, including CMS4 sarcoma, and rejection of CMS4 sarcoma in vaccination and therapy (day 7) protocols. These results support the efficacy of DC-based, p53-derived peptide vaccines for the immunotherapy of cancer. The translational potential of this strategy is enhanced by previous reports showing that DC can readily be generated from human peripheral blood lymphocytes.

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