Primary Immunoprevention of Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma by Vaccination against the Extracellular Domain of Anti-Müllerian Hormone Receptor II

Suparna Mazumder, Justin M Johnson, Valerie Swank, Nina Dvorina, Elizabeth Martelli, Jennifer Ko, Vincent K Tuohy
Cancer Prevention Research2018
Epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) is the most prevalent form of ovarian cancer in the United States, representing approximately 85% of all cases and causing more deaths than any other gynecologic malignancy. We propose that optimized control of EOC requires the incorporation of a vaccine capable of inducing safe and effective preemptive immunity in cancer-free women. In addition, we hypothesize that ovarian-specific self-proteins that are "retired" from autoimmune-inducing expression levels as ovaries age but are expressed at high levels in emerging EOC may serve as vaccine targets for mediating safe and effective primary immunoprevention. Here, we show that expression of the extracellular domain of anti-Müllerian hormone receptor II (AMHR2-ED) in normal tissues is confined exclusively to the human ovary, drops to nonautoimmune inducing levels in postmenopausal ovaries, and is at high levels in approximately 90% of human EOC. We found that AMHR2-ED vaccination significantly inhibits growth of murine EOC and enhances overall survival without inducing oophoritis in aged female mice. The observed inhibition of EOC growth was mediated substantially by induction of AMHR2-ED-specific IgG antibodies that agonize receptor signaling of a Bax/caspase-3-dependent proapoptotic cascade. Our results indicate that AMHR2-ED vaccination may be particularly useful in providing safe and effective preemptive immunity against EOC in women at high genetic or familial risk who have the greatest need for a preventive vaccine and ultimately in cancer-free postmenopausal women who account for 75% of all EOC cases.

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