Restoration of immunity in lymphopenic individuals with cancer by vaccination and adoptive T-cell transfer

Nat Med. 2005 Nov;11(11):1230-7. doi: 10.1038/nm1310. Epub 2005 Oct 16.


Immunodeficiency is a barrier to successful vaccination in individuals with cancer and chronic infection. We performed a randomized phase 1/2 study in lymphopenic individuals after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myeloma. Combination immunotherapy consisting of a single early post-transplant infusion of in vivo vaccine-primed and ex vivo costimulated autologous T cells followed by post-transplant booster immunizations improved the severe immunodeficiency associated with high-dose chemotherapy and led to the induction of clinically relevant immunity in adults within a month after transplantation. Immune assays showed accelerated restoration of CD4 T-cell numbers and function. Early T-cell infusions also resulted in significantly improved T-cell proliferation in response to antigens that were not contained in the vaccine, as assessed by responses to staphylococcal enterotoxin B and cytomegalovirus antigens (P < 0.05). In the setting of lymphopenia, combined vaccine therapy and adoptive T-cell transfer fosters the development of enhanced memory T-cell responses.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Lymphopenia / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / therapy
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccination


  • Pneumococcal Vaccines