Author(s): Wheeler CJ, Black KL, Liu G, Mazer M, Zhang XX,
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Abstract Cancer vaccine trials have failed to yield robust immune-correlated clinical improvements as observed in animal models, fueling controversy over the utility of human cancer vaccines. Therapeutic vaccination represents an intriguing additional therapy for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM; grade 4 glioma), which has a dismal prognosis and treatment response, but only early phase I vaccine trial results have been reported. Immune and clinical responses from a phase II GBM vaccine trial are reported here. IFN-gamma responsiveness was quantified in peripheral blood of 32 GBM patients given therapeutic dendritic cell vaccines. Posttreatment times to tumor progression (TTP) and survival (TTS) were compared in vaccine responders and nonresponders and were correlated with immune response magnitudes. GBM patients (53\%) exhibited >or=1.5-fold vaccine-enhanced cytokine responses. Endogenous antitumor responses of similar magnitude occurred in 22\% of GBM patients before vaccination. Vaccine responders exhibited significantly longer TTS and TTP relative to nonresponders. Immune enhancement in vaccine responders correlated logarithmically with TTS and TTP spanning postvaccine chemotherapy, but not with initial TTP spanning vaccination alone. This is the first report of a progressive correlation between cancer clinical outcome and T-cell responsiveness after therapeutic vaccination in humans and the first tracing of such correlation to therapeutically exploitable tumor alteration. As such, our findings offer unique opportunities to identify cellular and molecular components of clinically meaningful antitumor immunity in humans.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis