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Cancer Cell International

Open Access

Immunization of Rhesus monkeys with a conjugate vaccine IGN402 induces immune responses against carbohydrate and protein antigens, and cancer cells

  • G Waxenecker1Email author,
  • R Kircheis1,
  • P Vondru1,
  • I Zinöcker1,
  • D Häring1,
  • D Krey1,
  • A Nechansky1,
  • GC Mudde1,
  • G Himmler1 and
  • H Loibner1
Cancer Cell International20044(Suppl 1):S57

Received: 28 April 2004

Published: 1 July 2004


Rhesus MonkeyConjugate VaccineCarbohydrate AntigenSpecific Immune ResponseImmune Seron


Tumor-associated antigens resulting from aberrant glycosylation, such as the Sialyl-Tn carbohydrate antigen, are over-expressed or exposed on cancer cells and provide potential targets for cancer vaccination. However, as T-cell independent antigens carbohydrates are poorly immunogenic, and fail to induce memory.


In order to increase the immunogenicity we have coupled the Sialyl-Tn carbohydrate antigen to a highly immunogenic carrier molecule. The carrier molecule, the mAb17-1A antibody, provides additional antigens for vaccination. An immunogenic formulation of mAb17-1A-Sialyl-Tn conjugate on alhydrogel, IGN402, with or without additional adjuvants was tested in Rhesus monkeys for tolerability and immunogenicity.


A significant antibody response against the mAb17-1A antibody was found by ELISA. Furthermore, also a specific immune response against the Sialyl-Tn carbohydrate was induced, and immune sera showed binding reactivity to a variety of cancer cells.


Immunization in the presence of additional adjuvants, such as QS-21, strongly enhanced the immune response against the carbohydrate antigen, and importantly also resulted in the production of carbohydrate-specific IgG antibodies. The data indicate that carrier-induced T-cell help was sufficient for carbohydrate specific class switch induction.

Authors’ Affiliations

igeneon, Vienna, Austria


© Author(s); licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2004