A therapeutic cancer vaccine being developed by an international team of cancer immunologists working within the Cancer Research Institute/Ludwig Institute for Cancer// Research Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) successfully induced a comprehensive, tumor-specific immune response in patients with late-stage metastatic disease, with results indicating that the vaccine had a favorable impact on disease progression in some patients, according to a paper to be published on September 26 in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. The paper is currently available in the journal’s online advance edition.
In a two-part, open-label cohort study, patients whose tumors expressed the immunogenic NY-ESO-1 antigen, most with melanoma, received at least four monthly doses of recombinant vaccinia-NY-ESO-1 and recombinant fowlpox-NY-ESO-1 vaccine, administered alone and together in a prime-boost setting. In a large proportion of the 23 evaluable patients, the vaccine was shown to stimulate both humoral and cellular immune responses consisting of antibodies, CD8+ and CD4+ T cells specific to a broad range of NY-ESO-1 antigenic epitopes. Of nine melanoma patients with progressive stage III/IV disease at the onset of vaccinations, seven have survived 17-63+ months. One patient with melanoma showed a complete response with total regression of lesions and remains disease-free 32 months out; another melanoma patient continues to show disease stabilization 31 months out; and several others showed disease stability with delayed progression. The only side-effect observed in the study was temporary redness, swelling, and itching at the injection site.
As a follow-up to this prime-boost vaccination strategy study, a prospective phase II prime-boost vaccine study in metastatic melanoma is underway. Therion Biologics Corporation of Cambridge, MA, produced the recombinant vaccinia and fowlpox for both studies.
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