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May 2023

Single immunizations of self-amplifying or non-replicating mRNA-LNP vaccines control HPV-associated tumors in mice.

Ramos da Silva J, Bitencourt Rodrigues K, Formoso Pelegrin G, Silva Sales N, Muramatsu H, de Oliveira Silva M, Porchia BFMM, Moreno ACR, Aps LRMM, Venceslau-Carvalho AA, Tombácz I, Fotoran WL, Karikó K, Lin PJC, Tam YK, de Oliveira Diniz M, Pardi N, de Souza Ferreira LC.

Sci Transl Med. 2023 Mar 8;15(686):eabn3464. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn3464. Epub 2023 Mar 8. PMID: 36867683.


As mRNA vaccines have proved to be very successful in battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, this new modality has attracted widespread interest for the development of potent vaccines against other infectious diseases and cancer. Cervical cancer caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a major cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the development of safe and effective therapeutic strategies is urgently needed. In the present study, we compared the performance of three different mRNA vaccine modalities to target tumors associated with HPV-16 infection in mice. We generated lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated self-amplifying mRNA as well as unmodified and nucleoside-modified non-replicating mRNA vaccines encoding a chimeric protein derived from the fusion of the HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein and the herpes simplex virus type 1 glycoprotein D (gDE7). We demonstrated that single low-dose immunizations with any of the three gDE7 mRNA vaccines induced activation of E7-specific CD8+ T cells, generated memory T cell responses capable of preventing tumor relapses, and eradicated subcutaneous tumors at different growth stages. In addition, the gDE7 mRNA-LNP vaccines induced potent tumor protection in two different orthotopic mouse tumor models after administration of a single vaccine dose. Last, comparative studies demonstrated that all three gDE7 mRNA-LNP vaccines proved to be superior to gDE7 DNA and gDE7 recombinant protein vaccines. Collectively, we demonstrated the immunogenicity and therapeutic efficacy of three different mRNA vaccines in extensive comparative experiments. Our data support further evaluation of these mRNA vaccines in clinical trials.