Tel-eVax: A genetic vaccine targeting telomerase for treatment of canine lymphoma

Joseph A. Impellizeri, Alessandra Gavazza, Eliana Greissworth, Anna Crispo, Maurizio Montella, Gennaro Ciliberto, George Lubas, Luigi Aurisicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: we have recently shown that Tel-eVax, a genetic vaccine targeting dog telomerase (dTERT) and based on Adenovirus (Ad)/DNA Electro-Gene-Transfer (DNA-EGT) technology can induce strong immune response and increase overall survival (OS) of dogs affected by multicentric Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) when combined to COP therapy in a double-arm study. Here, we have utilized a clinically validated device for veterinary electroporation called Vet-ePorator™, based on Cliniporator™ technology currently utilized and approved in Europe for electrochemotherapy applications and adapted to electrogenetransfer (EGT). Methods: 17 dogs affected by DLBCL were vaccinated using two Ad vector injections (Prime phase) followed by DNA-EGT (Boost phase) by means of a Vet-ePorator™ device and treated in the same time with a 27-week Madison Wisconsin CHOP protocol. The immune response was measured by ELISA assays using pool of peptides. Results: No significant adverse effects were observed. The OS of vaccine/CHOP animals was 64.5 weeks, in line with the previous study. Dogs developed antibodies against the immunizing antigen. Conclusions: Tel-eVax in combination with CHOP is safe and immunogenic in lymphoma canine patients. These data confirm the therapeutic efficacy of dTERT vaccine and hold promise for the treatment of dogs affected by other cancer types. More importantly, our findings may translate to human clinical trials and represent new strategies for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number349
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2018


  • Cancer vaccine
  • Canine lymphoma
  • Genetic vaccine
  • TERT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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