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Proceedings Paper

Combination of PDT and a DNA demethylating agent produces anti-tumor immune response in a mouse tumor model
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Paper Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms, which involve DNA methylation and histone modifications, result in the heritable silencing of genes without a change in their coding sequence. However, these changes must be actively maintained after each cell division rendering them a promising target for pharmacologic inhibition. DNA methyltransferase inhibitors like 5-aza-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) induce and/or up-regulate the expression of MAGE-type antigens in human and mice cancer cells. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been shown to be an effective locally ablative anti-cancer treatment that has the additional advantage of stimulating tumor-directed immune response. We studied the effects of a new therapy that combined the demethylating agent 5-aza-dC with PDT in the breast cancer model 4T1 syngenic to immunocompetent BALB/c mice. PDT was used as a locally ablating tumor treatment that is capable of eliciting strong and tumor directed immune response while 5-aza-dC pretreatment was used promote de novo induction of the expression of P1A.protein. This is the mouse homolog of human MAGE family antigens and is reported to function as a tumor rejection antigen in certain mouse tumors. This strategy led to an increase in PDT-mediated immune response and better treatment outcome. These results strongly suggest that the MAGE family antigens are important target for PDT mediated immune response but that their expression can be silenced by epigenetic mechanisms. Therefore the possibility that PDT can be combined with epigenetic strategies to elicit anti-tumor immunity in MAGE-positive tumor models is highly clinically significant and should be studied in detail.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 July 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7380, Photodynamic Therapy: Back to the Future, 73800H (13 July 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.823005
Show Author Affiliations
Pawel Mroz, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, MGH (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Michael R. Hamblin, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine, MGH (United States)
Harvard Medical School (United States)
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7380:
Photodynamic Therapy: Back to the Future
David H. Kessel, Editor(s)

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