Vaccination with tumor cells expressing IL-15 and IL-15R inhibits murine breast and prostate cancer

J. C. Morris, C. A. Ramlogan-Steel, P. Yu, B. A. Black, P. Mannan, J. P. Allison, T. A. Waldmann, J. C. Steel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


A number of antitumor vaccines have recently shown promise in upregulating immune responses against tumor antigens and improving patient survival. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of vaccination using interleukin (IL)-15-expressing tumor cells and also examine their ability to upregulate immune responses to tumor antigens. We demonstrated that the coexpression of IL-15 with its receptor, IL-15R, increased the cell-surface expression and secretion of IL-15. We show that a gene transfer approach using recombinant adenovirus to express IL-15 and IL-15R in murine TRAMP-C2 prostate or TS/A breast tumors induced antitumor immune responses. From this, we developed a vaccine platform, consisting of TRAMP-C2 prostate cancer cells or TS/A breast cancer cells coexpressing IL-15 and IL-15R that inhibited tumor formation when mice were challenged with tumor. Inhibition of tumor growth led to improved survival when compared with animals receiving cells expressing IL-15 alone or unmodified tumor cells. Animals vaccinated with tumor cells coexpressing IL-15 and IL-15R showed greater tumor infiltration with CD8 + T and natural killer (NK) cells, as well as increased antitumor CD8 + T-cell responses. Vaccination with IL-15/IL-15R-modified TS/A breast cancer cells provided a survival advantage to mice challenged with unrelated murine TUBO breast cancer cells, indicating the potential for allogeneic IL-15/IL-15R-expressing vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-401
Number of pages9
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Morris, J. C., Ramlogan-Steel, C. A., Yu, P., Black, B. A., Mannan, P., Allison, J. P., Waldmann, T. A., & Steel, J. C. (2014). Vaccination with tumor cells expressing IL-15 and IL-15R inhibits murine breast and prostate cancer. Gene Therapy, 21(4), 393-401.