Authors: Pellom, Samuel T.; Rumfield, Claire Smalley; Ii, Y. Maurice Morillon; Roller, Nicholas; Poppe, Lisa K.; Brough, Douglas E.; Sabzevari, Helen; Schlom, Jeffrey; Jochems, Caroline
Issue: JCI Insight . 2021 Apr 8;6(7):e141912.
There are approximately 44,000 cases of human papillomavirus-associated (HPV-associated) cancer each year in the United States, most commonly caused by HPV types 16 and 18. Prophylactic vaccines successfully prevent healthy people from acquiring HPV infections via HPV-specific antibodies. In order to treat established HPV-associated malignancies, however, new therapies are necessary. Multiple recombinant gorilla adenovirus HPV vaccine constructs were evaluated in NSG-β2m-/- peripheral blood mononuclear cell-humanized mice bearing SiHa, a human HPV16+ cervical tumor, and/or in the syngeneic HPV16+ TC-1 model. PRGN-2009 is a therapeutic gorilla adenovirus HPV vaccine containing multiple cytotoxic T cell epitopes of the viral oncoproteins HPV 16/18 E6 and E7, including T cell enhancer agonist epitopes. PRGN-2009 treatment reduced tumor volume and increased CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment of humanized mice bearing the human cervical tumor SiHa. PRGN-2009 monotherapy in the syngeneic TC-1 model also reduced tumor volumes and weights, generated high levels of HPV16 E6-specific T cells, and increased multifunctional CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in the tumor microenvironment. These studies provide the first evaluation to our knowledge of a therapeutic gorilla adenovirus HPV vaccine, PRGN-2009, showing promising preclinical antitumor efficacy and induction of HPV-specific T cells, along with the rationale for its evaluation in clinical trials.