Carbohydrate antigen delivery by water soluble copolymers as potential anti-cancer vaccines†
Tumor associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs) are overexpressed on tumor cells, which renders them attractive targets for anti-cancer vaccines. To overcome the poor immunogenicity of TACAs, we designed a polymer platform for antigen presentation by co-delivering TACA and helper T (Th) cell epitope on the same chain. The block copolymer was synthesized by cyanoxyl-mediated free radical polymerization followed by conjugation with a TACA Tn antigen and a mouse Th-cell peptide epitope derived from polio virus (PV) to afford the vaccine construct. The glycopolymer vaccine elicited an anti-Tn immune response with significant titers of IgG antibodies, which recognized Tn-expressing tumor cells.