Purpose: A phase I/II trial was performed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a novel vaccination with α-type 1 polarized dendritic cells (αDC1) loaded with synthetic peptides for glioma-associated antigen (GAA) epitopes and administration of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] stabilized by lysine and carboxymethylcellulose (poly-ICLC) in HLA-A2(+) patients with recurrent malignant gliomas. GAAs for these peptides are EphA2, interleukin (IL)-13 receptor-α2, YKL-40, and gp100.
Patients and methods: Twenty-two patients (13 with glioblastoma multiforme [GBM], five with anaplastic astrocytoma [AA], three with anaplastic oligodendroglioma [AO], and one with anaplastic oligoastrocytoma [AOA]) received at least one vaccination, and 19 patients received at least four vaccinations at two αDC1 dose levels (1 × or 3 × 10(7)/dose) at 2-week intervals intranodally. Patients also received twice weekly intramuscular injections of 20 μg/kg poly-ICLC. Patients who demonstrated positive radiologic response or stable disease without major adverse events were allowed to receive booster vaccines. T-lymphocyte responses against GAA epitopes were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot and HLA-tetramer assays.
Results: The regimen was well-tolerated. The first four vaccines induced positive immune responses against at least one of the vaccination-targeted GAAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 58% of patients. Peripheral blood samples demonstrated significant upregulation of type 1 cytokines and chemokines, including interferon-α and CXCL10. Nine (four GBM, two AA, two AO, and one AOA) achieved progression-free status lasting at least 12 months. One patient with recurrent GBM demonstrated sustained complete response. IL-12 production levels by αDC1 positively correlated with time to progression.
Conclusion: These data support safety, immunogenicity, and preliminary clinical activity of poly-ICLC-boosted αDC1-based vaccines.