Therapeutic Vaccination With an Autologous mRNA Electroporated Dendritic Cell Vaccine in Patients With Advanced Melanoma
Wilgenhof, Sofie Van Nuffel, An M. T Corthals, Jurgen Heirman, Carlo Tuyaerts, Sandra Benteyn, Daphne De Coninck, Arlette Van Riet, Ivan Verfaillie, Guy Vandeloo, Judith Bonehill, Aude Thielemans, Kris Neyns, Bart # ×
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Journal of Immunotherapy vol:34 issue:5 pages:448-456
The immunostimulatory capacity of dendritic cells is improved by co-electroporation with mRNA encoding CD40 ligand, constitutively active toll-like receptor 4, and CD70 (TriMix-DC). This pilot clinical trial evaluated the feasibility, safety, and immunogenicity of a therapeutic vaccination containing autologous TriMix-DC co-electroporated with mRNA encoding a human leukocyte antigen class II-targeting signal linked to 1 of 4 melanoma-associated antigens (MAGE-A3, MAGE-C2, tyrosinase, and gp100) in patients with advanced melanoma. Thirty-five American Joint Committee on Cancer stage III/IV melanoma patients received autologous TriMix-DC (4 administrations 2 weeks apart). Immune monitoring was performed by evaluating skin biopsies of delayed type IV hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions for presence of vaccinal antigen-specific DTH-infiltrating lymphocytes (DIL). Thereafter, patients could receive interferon-alpha-2b (IFN-alpha-2b) 5 MU subcutaneously 3 times weekly and additional TriMix-DC every 8 weeks. TriMix-DC-related adverse events comprised grade 2 local injection site reactions (all patients), and grade 2 fever and lethargy (2 patients). Vaccinal antigen-specific DIL were found in 0/6 patients tested at vaccine initiation and in 12/21 (57.1%) assessed after the fourth vaccine. A positive post-vaccination DTH test correlated with IL-12p70 secretion capacity of TriMix-DC. No objective responses to TriMix-DC alone were seen according to RECIST. Twenty-nine patients received IFN-alpha-2b after the fourth vaccine without unexpected adverse events. During TriMix-DC/IFN-alpha-2b combination therapy, 1 partial response and 5 stable disease (disease control of > 6 months with regression of metastases) were observed in 17 patients with evaluable disease at baseline. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that therapeutic vaccination with autologous TriMix-DC is feasible, safe, and immunogenic and can be combined with sequential IFN-alpha-2b.