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Although dendritic cells (DC) have been well demonstrated as a strong cellular adjuvant for a tumor vaccine, there are several limitations for clinical application. A protein-based vaccine using a potent adjuvant is an appealing approach for tumor antigen-specific immunotherapy because of their simplicity, safety, efficacy and capacity for repeated administration. CpG-oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) have been used as adjuvants to stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses for cancer treatment. The authors evaluated the adjuvant effects of CpG-ODN in a vaccine incorporating recombinant fusion protein of the HIV TAT PTD domain and carcinoembryonic antigen (TAT-CEA). Mice vaccinated with TAT-CEA and CpG-ODN (TAT-CEA + CpG) showed enhanced CEA-specific immunity, including cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) activity and interferon (IFN)-γ secreting T cells compared with CEA and CpG-ODN (CEA + CpG) or TAT-CEA vaccination alone. Vaccination with TAT-CEA + CpG elicited Th1-based responses, as indicated by the higher ratio of immunoglobulin (Ig)G2a antibody/IgG1 antibodies specific for CEA. The survival rate was significantly increased after vaccination with TAT-CEA + CpG in a tumor model using MC38/CEA2. Furthermore, the TAT-CEA ± CpG vaccine groups showed similar antitumor immunity to the CEA peptide-pulsed DC (CEA peptide/DC) vaccine groups. These data suggest that coadministration of TAT fusion protein with CpG-ODN may serve as a potential formulation for enhancing antitumor activity. (Cancer Sci 2008; 99: 1034–1039)