Research Papers:

Tumor growth accelerated by chemotherapy-induced senescent cells is suppressed by treatment with IL-12 producing cellular vaccines

Jana Simova, Olena Sapega, Terezie Imrichova, Ivan Stepanek, Lenka Kyjacova, Romana Mikyskova, Marie Indrova, Jana Bieblova, Jan Bubenik, Jiri Bartek, Zdenek Hodny and Milan Reinis _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:54952-54964. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10712

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Jana Simova1, Olena Sapega1, Terezie Imrichova2, Ivan Stepanek1, Lenka Kyjacova2, Romana Mikyskova1, Marie Indrova1, Jana Bieblova1, Jan Bubenik3, Jiri Bartek2,4,5, Zdenek Hodny2, Milan Reinis1

1Immunology Unit, Czech Centre for Phenogenomics, BIOCEV and Department of Transgenic Models of Diseases, Institute of Molecular Genetics of the ASCR, v.v.i., Prague 14220, Czech Republic

2Department of Genome Integrity, Institute of Molecular Genetics, v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague 14220, Czech Republic

3First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague 12000, Czech Republic

4Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark

5Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Science For Life Laboratory, Division of Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology, Karolinska Institute, 17121 Solna, Sweden

Correspondence to:

Zdenek Hodny, email: [email protected]

Milan Reinis, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cellular senescence, cancer chemotherapy, docetaxel, IL-12, cell therapy

Received: April 18, 2016     Accepted: May 29, 2016     Published: July 19, 2016


Standard-of-care chemo- or radio-therapy can induce, besides tumor cell death, also tumor cell senescence. While senescence is considered to be a principal barrier against tumorigenesis, senescent cells can survive in the organism for protracted periods of time and they can promote tumor development. Based on this emerging concept, we hypothesized that elimination of such potentially cancer-promoting senescent cells could offer a therapeutic benefit. To assess this possibility, here we first show that tumor growth of proliferating mouse TC-1 HPV-16-associated cancer cells in syngeneic mice becomes accelerated by co-administration of TC-1 or TRAMP-C2 prostate cancer cells made senescent by pre-treatment with the anti-cancer drug docetaxel, or lethally irradiated. Phenotypic analyses of tumor-explanted cells indicated that the observed acceleration of tumor growth was attributable to a protumorigenic environment created by the co-injected senescent and proliferating cancer cells rather than to escape of the docetaxel-treated cells from senescence. Notably, accelerated tumor growth was effectively inhibited by cell immunotherapy using irradiated TC-1 cells engineered to produce interleukin IL-12. Collectively, our data document that immunotherapy, such as the IL-12 treatment, can provide an effective strategy for elimination of the detrimental effects caused by bystander senescent tumor cells in vivo.

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PII: 10712