We have developed a novel vaccine against lymphoma consisting of an anti-CD40 Ab (ADX40) chemically conjugated to the tumor idiotype A20 and tested it in a murine lymphoma model. BALB/c mice were immunized with 2 doses of immunogen alone or in conjunction with additional adjuvants before tumor challenge. ADX40-Id vaccination resulted in significantly retarded tumor growth and reduced mouse morbidity. Moreover, similar mouse survival was obtained with 2 injections of ADX40-Id as with 8 injections using the standard therapy of keyhole limpet hemocyanin Id + GM-CSF. Co-administration of ADX40-Id with 3-O-deacyl-4'-monophosphoryl lipid A further significantly enhanced vaccine efficacy, resulting in an increased overall survival. Anti-Id-specific Abs were detected at elevated levels after ADX40-Id immunization; however, in vivo depletion of CD4 and/or CD8 T cells before challenge showed that CD8 effector T cells were the major mediators of tumor protection.
The results of the present study show that the ADX40-Id conjugate vaccine is a potential candidate as a stand-alone vaccine or in combination with currently licensed adjuvants for lymphoma immunotherapy.