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Query: "author" (Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi) .

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1.
Biological factors of the tumour response to electrochemotherapy : review of the evidence and a research roadmap
Gregor Serša, Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Maja Čemažar, Richard Heller, Maša Bošnjak, Luca Giovanni Campana, 2021, review article

Abstract: The beneficial effects of electrochemotherapy (ECT) for superficial tumours and, more recently, deepseated malignancies in terms of local control and quality of life are widely accepted. However, the variability in responses across histotypes needs to be explored. Currently, patient selection for ECT is based on clinical factors (tumour size, histotype, and exposure to previous oncological treatments), whereas there are no biomarkers to predict the response to treatment. In this field, two major areas of investigation can be identified, i.e., tumour cell characteristics and the tumour microenvironment (vasculature, extracellular matrix, and immune infiltrate). For each of these areas, we describe the current knowledge and discuss how to foster further investigation. This review aims to provide a summary of the currently used guiding clinical factors and delineates a research roadmap for future studies to identify putative biomarkers of response to ECT. These biomarkers may allow researchers to improve ECT practice by customising treatment parameters, manipulating the tumour and its microenvironment, and exploring novel therapeutic combinations.
Keywords: biological factors, biomarkers, electrochemotherapy, bleomycin, cisplatin
Published in DiRROS: 23.09.2022; Views: 133; Downloads: 43
.pdf Full text (1,32 MB)

2.
Potentiation of electrochemotherapy effectiveness by immunostimulation with IL-12 gene electrotransfer in mice is dependent on tumor immune status
Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Špela Kos, Urška Kamenšek, Maja Čemažar, Simona Miceska, Boštjan Markelc, Simon Buček, Barbara Starešinič, Veronika Kloboves-Prevodnik, Richard Heller, Gregor Serša, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) exhibits high therapeutic effectiveness in the clinic, achieving up to 80% local tumor control but without a systemic (abscopal) effect. Therefore, we designed a combination therapy consisting of ECT via intratumoral application of bleomycin, oxaliplatin or cisplatin with peritumoral gene electrotransfer of a plasmid encoding interleukin-12 (p. t. IL-12 GET). Our hypothesis was that p. t. IL-12 GET potentiates the effect of ECT on local and systemic levels and that the potentiation varies depending on tumor immune status. Therefore, the combination therapy was tested in three immunologically different murine tumor models. In poorly immunogenic B16F10 melanoma, IL-12 potentiated the antitumor effect of ECT with biologically equivalent low doses of cisplatin, oxaliplatin or bleomycin. The most pronounced potentiation was observed after ECT using cisplatin, resulting in a complete response rate of 38% and an abscopal effect. Compared to B16F10 melanoma, better responsiveness to ECT was observed in more immunogenic 4%T1 mammary carcinoma and CT26 colorectal carcinoma. In both models, p. t. IL-12 GET did not significantly improve the therapeutic outcome of ECT using any of the chemotherapeutic drugs. Collectively, the effectiveness of the combination therapy depends on tumor immune status. ECT was more effective in more immunogenic tumors, but GET exhibited greater contribution in less immunogenic tumors. Thus, the selection of the therapy, namely, either ECT alone or combination therapy with p. t. IL-12, should be predominantly based on tumor immune status.
Keywords: electrochemotherapy, gene electrotransfer, interleukin-12
Published in DiRROS: 21.09.2022; Views: 153; Downloads: 40
.pdf Full text (7,82 MB)

3.
Mutational burden, MHC-I expression and immune infiltration as limiting factors for in situ vaccination by TNF[alfa] and IL-12 gene electrotransfer
Urška Kamenšek, Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Boštjan Markelc, Maja Čemažar, Vita Šetrajčič Dragoš, Gregor Serša, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: In situ vaccination is a promising immunotherapeutic approach, where various local ablative therapies are used to induce an immune response against tumor antigens that are released from the therapy-killed tumor cells. We recently proposed using intratumoral gene electrotransfer for concomitant transfection of a cytotoxic cytokine tumor necrosis factor-% (TNF%) to induce in situ vaccination, and an immunostimulatory cytokine interleukin 12 (IL-12) to boost the primed immune response. Here, our aim was to test the local and systemic effectiveness of the approach in tree syngeneic mouse tumor models and associate it with tumor immune profiles, characterized by tumor mutational burden, immune infiltration and expression of PD-L1 and MHC-I on tumor cells. While none of the tested characteristic proved predictive for local effectiveness, high tumor mutational burden, immune infiltration and MHC-I expression were associated with higher abscopal effectiveness. Hence, we have confirmed that both the abundance and presentation of tumor antigens as well as the absence of immunosuppressive mechanisms are important for effective in situ vaccination. These findings provide important indications for future development of in situ vaccination based treatments, and for the selection of tumor types that will most likely benefit from it.
Keywords: in situ vaccination, gene electrotransfer, interleukin 12, tumor necrosis factor [alfa]
Published in DiRROS: 19.09.2022; Views: 124; Downloads: 37
.pdf Full text (1,78 MB)

4.
Tumor cell-based vaccine contributes to local tumor irradiation by eliciting a tumor model-dependent systemic immune response
Tinkara Remic, Gregor Serša, Kristina Levpušček, Urša Lampreht Tratar, Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Andrej Cör, Urška Kamenšek, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Multimodal treatment approaches, such as radio-immunotherapy, necessitate regimen optimization and the investigation of the interactions of different modalities. The aim of this study was two-fold. Firstly, to select the most effective combination of irradiation and the previously developed tumor cell-based vaccine and then to provide insight into the immune response to the selected combinatorial treatment. The study was performed in immunologically different murine tumor models: B16F10 melanoma and CT26 colorectal carcinoma. The most effective combinatorial treatment was selected by comparing three different IR regimens and three different vaccination regimens. We determined the local immune response by investigating immune cell infiltration at the vaccination site and in tumors. Lastly, we determined the systemic immune response by investigating the amount of tumor-specific effector lymphocytes in draining lymph nodes. The selected most effective combinatorial treatment was 5× 5 Gy in combination with concomitant single-dose vaccination (B16F10) or with concomitant multi-dose vaccination (CT26). The combinatorial treatment successfully elicited a local immune response at the vaccination site and in tumors in both tumor models. It also resulted in the highest amount of tumor-specific effector lymphocytes in draining lymph nodes in the B16F10, but not in the CT26 tumor-bearing mice. However, the amount of tumor-specific effector lymphocytes was intrinsically higher in the CT26 than in the B16F10 tumor model. Upon the selection of the most effective combinatorial treatment, we demonstrated that the vaccine elicits an immune response and contributes to the antitumor efficacy of tumor irradiation. However, this interaction is multi-faceted and appears to be dependent on the tumor immunogenicity.
Keywords: experimental oncology, multimodal treatment, radio-imunotherapy
Published in DiRROS: 14.09.2022; Views: 119; Downloads: 55
.pdf Full text (9,70 MB)
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5.
Genska terapija v onkologiji, prvi razvojni koraki v Sloveniji
Maja Čemažar, Tanja Jesenko, Maša Bošnjak, Boštjan Markelc, Urška Kamenšek, Simona Kranjc Brezar, Špela Kos, Urša Lampreht Tratar, Katarina Žnidar, Andrej Renčelj, Urška Matkovič, Teja Valant, Kristina Levpušček, Živa Modic, Tilen Komel, Tim Božič, Urša Kešar, Barbara Starešinič, Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Monika Savarin, Primož Strojan, Gorana Gašljević, Maja Ota, Aleš Grošelj, Črt Jamšek, Rosana Hudej, Matjaž Peterka, Franc Smrekar, Barbara Hubad, Marjan Hosta, Jaka Kužnik, Alojz Hosta, Damijan Miklavčič, Matej Reberšek, Aleksandra Cvetkoska, Anja Zajc, Janja Dermol-Černe, Nataša Tozon, Nina Milevoj, Alenka Nemec Svete, Gregor Serša, 2022, professional article

Abstract: Genska terapija postaja čedalje bolj zanimiva tudi v onkologiji. Med aplikacijami je morda najzanimivejša imunostimulacija. Pripravimo lahko plazmidno DNA, ki nosi zapis za različne imunostimulatorne molekule, ki jih vnesemo v celice tumorjev ali normalnih tkiv. Ta tkiva postanejo proizvajalci teh molekul, ki lahko delujejo lokalno ali pa se izločajo tudi sistemsko v krvni obtok. Ker plazmidna DNA ne prehaja celične membrane, so potrebni dostavni sistemi, virusni ali nevirusni. V naših študijah uporabljamo predvsem nevirusni dostavni sistem – elektroporacijo. Interlevkin 12 (IL-12) je eden od zanimivih citokinov, za katerega je znano protitumorsko delovanje s spodbujanjem imunskega odziva in antiangiogenim delovanjem. Namen projekta SmartGene.si je bil pripraviti plazmid z zapisom za interlevkin 12 (plazmid phIL12) in pripraviti vse potrebno za njegovo klinično testiranje za zdravljenje kožnih tumorjev. V konzorciju smo združili moči s partnerji z akademskega in industrijskega področja. Treba je bilo pripraviti plazmid za uporabo v humani onkologiji po zahtevah Evropske agencije za zdravila (EMA). Za prijavo klinične študije na Javno agencijo za zdravila in medicinske pripomočke (JAZMP) smo morali izvesti tudi vse neklinične raziskave o varnosti in učinkovitosti zdravila. Nato je bilo treba razviti postopek priprave zdravila, zagotoviti primerne prostore za pripravo in izvedbo postopka priprave zdravila. V treh letih smo dosegli vse te zastavljene cilje in dobili dovoljenje za izvajanje klinične študije na kožnih tumorjih, ki ga je izdala JAZMP na osnovi pozitivnega mnenja Komisije Republike Slovenije za medicinsko etiko. Zdaj poteka klinična študija faze I preizkušanja plazmida phIL12 na kožnih tumorjih glave in vratu z namenom preveriti varnost in sprejemljivost genskega elektroprenosa plazmida v tumorje. Cilj študije je prav tako določiti primeren odmerek zdravila, ki bi ga v nadaljnji klinični študiji uporabili kot adjuvantno zdravljenje k ablativnim terapijam, kot sta radioterapija ali elektrokemoterapija.
Keywords: genska terapija, interlevkin-12, plazmidna DNA, elektroprenos genov, rak kože
Published in DiRROS: 01.07.2022; Views: 333; Downloads: 84
.pdf Full text (420,40 KB)

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Priprava in testiranje tumorske vakcine z obsevanjem
Tinkara Remic, Gregor Serša, Maja Čemažar, Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Kristina Levpušček, Urška Kamenšek, 2021, published scientific conference contribution

Keywords: genski elektroprenos, obsevanje, tumorska vakcina
Published in DiRROS: 01.04.2022; Views: 248; Downloads: 105
.pdf Full text (89,56 KB)

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