Adjuvant active specific immunotherapy of stage II and stage III colon cancer with an autologous tumor cell vaccine: first randomized phase III trials show promise

Vaccine. 2001 Mar 21;19(17-19):2576-82. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(00)00485-0.


We performed three multi-institutional, prospectively randomized, controlled clinical trials, assessing the therapeutic effect of post-resection adjuvant active specific immunotherapy in patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer. In each study four outcomes were considered: time-to-disease recurrence, overall survival intervals, disease-free survival intervals, and recurrence-free survival intervals using the Kaplan-Meir method for generating curves and the log-rank test used to compare efficacy distributions. In addition, a meta-analysis of the three phase III trials was performed since the trials had proven homogeneity. Two main analyses were performed: (1) the intent-to-treat colon cancer patients from all three studies; and (2) analyzable colon cancer patients in all three studies. The conclusion of these analyses is that adjuvant active specific immunotherapy provided significant clinical benefits in patients with stage II colon cancer and appears to be an important new adjuvant treatment for these patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Autoantigens / administration & dosage
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Colonic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Autoantigens
  • Cancer Vaccines