The type III variant of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII) mutation is present in 20-25% of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). EGFRvIII is not expressed in normal tissue and is therefore a suitable candidate antigen for dendritic cell (DC) based immunotherapy of GBM. To identify the antigenic epitope(s) that may serve as targets for EGFRvIII-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), the peptide sequence of EGFRvIII was screened with two software programs to predict candidate epitopes restricted by the major histocompatibility complex class I subtype HLA-A0201, which is the predominant subtype in most ethnic groups. Three predicted peptides were constructed and loaded to mature human DCs generated from peripheral blood monocytes. Autologous CD8+ T cells were stimulated in vitro with the EGFRvIII peptide-pulsed DCs. One of the three peptides was found to induce EGFRvIII-specific CTLs as demonstrated by IFN-γ production and cytotoxicity against HLA-A0201+ EGFRvIII transfected U87 glioma cells. These results suggest that vaccination with EGFRvIII peptide-pulsed DCs or adoptive transfer of in vitro elicited EGFRvIII-specific CTLs by EGFRvIII peptide-pulsed DCs are potential approaches to the treatment of glioma patients.
- Dendritic cell vaccine