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Poster display session

4204 - In vivo study of the vaccine adjuvants prothymosin alpha and prothymosin alpha(100-109) in melanoma


11 Sep 2017


Poster display session


Cancer Biology;  Melanoma


Pinelopi Samara


Annals of Oncology (2017) 28 (suppl_5): v1-v21. 10.1093/annonc/mdx361


P. Samara1, K. Ioannou1, N. Kavrohorianou2, S. Haralambous2, P. Selemenakis3, A. Kotsinas3, H. Kalbacher4, W. Voelter4, O. Tsitsilonis1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Section Of Animal & Human Physiology, Department Of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 - Athens/GR
  • 2 Laboratory Of Transgenic Technology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, 11532 - Athens/GR
  • 3 Molecular Carcinogenesis Group, Department Of Histology And Embryology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 122343 - Athens/GR
  • 4 Universität Tübingen, Interfakultäres Institut für Biochemie, 2342 - Tübingen/DE


Abstract 4204


The TLR agonist prothymosin α (proTα) pleiotropically stimulates immune cells via generating the appropriate cytokine milieu for their activation. The C-terminal decapeptide proTα(100-109) is considered the immunologically active moiety of proTα, as it restores in vitro the deficient immune responses of cancer patients equally well to proTα. ProTα and proTα(100-109) ligate TLR-4, signal through the TRIF/MyD88-dependent pathways, and promote the maturation of dendritic cells. The latter further stimulate TH1-type immune responses and prime tumor antigen-reactive T cell functions. We evaluated whether proTα and proTα(100-109) function correspondingly in vivo.


C57BL/6 mice were subcutaneously inoculated with the syngeneic melanoma B16.F1 cells. Upon palpable tumor formation, mice were intraperitonealy treated with 2 cycles of GM-CSF, proTα(100-109) or proTα, in conjunction with a B16.F1-specific peptide vaccine. Tumor growth and animal survival were monitored. Splenocytes from selected animals were tested for ex vivo cytotoxicity by 51Cr-release assay and CD107 expression. Excised tumors were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, while serum cytokines were quantified by flow cytometry.


Both peptides therapeutically administered in melanoma-bearing mice in the presence of cancer antigens, retarded tumor growth and prolonged the survival of treated animals by 25 days. Ex vivo analysis of spleen cell cytotoxicity confirmed the in vivo induction of B16.F1-specific and non-specific anti-tumor responses. Tumors of mice treated with proTα/proΤα(100-109) did not show infiltration of smooth muscle fibers and vessels, produced less melanin, presented limited necrotic areas and were characterized by sparse T cell infiltration. Sera from the same animals contained more IFN-γ, whereas the concentration of IL-4 was marginally increased.


Our results show that proTα and proTα(100-109) induce TH1-biased immune responses in vivo. As both peptides are non-toxic to normal cells, their ability to orchestrate and modulate the desired anti-tumor immune responses in mice, suggests their eventual exploitation as adjuvants in anti-cancer peptide vaccines in humans.

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

O. Tsitsilonis




All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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