Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a tumor-associated antigen expressed on most gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas and is a putative target for cancer immunotherapy. We developed a murine monoclonal anti-idiotype (anti-Id) antibody, 3H1, which mimics a specific epitope of CEA, for cancer immunotherapy. In this study, the efficacy of 3H1 as a tumor vaccine was evaluated in a murine tumor model. In this model, the murine colorectal cancer cell line MC-38 was transduced with the human CEA gene and injected into syngeneic C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice. Immunization of naive mice with 3H1 conjugated with keyhole limpet hemocyanin Freund's adjuvant induced humoral and cellular anti-3H1 as well as anti-CEA immunity. Mice immunized with 3H1 were protected against a challenge with lethal doses of MC-38-cea, whereas no protection was observed when 3H1 vaccinated mice were challenged with CEA negative MC-38 cells or when mice were vaccinated with an unrelated anti-Id antibody and challenged with MC-38-cea cells (P < 0.003). These data demonstrate that the 3H1 vaccine can induce protective CEA-specific antitumor immunity.

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