We conducted a phase I clinical trial of a cancer vaccine using a 20-mer NY-ESO-1f peptide (NY-ESO-1 91-110) that includes multiple epitopes recognized by antibodies, and CD4 and CD8 T cells. Ten patients were immunized with 600 μg of NY-ESO-1f peptide mixed with 0.2 KE Picibanil OK-432 and 1.25 ml Montanide ISA-51. Primary end points of the study were safety and immune response. Subcutaneous injection of the NY-ESO-1f peptide vaccine was well tolerated. Vaccine-related adverse events observed were fever (Grade 1), injection-site reaction (Grade 1 or 2) and induration (Grade 2). Vaccination with the NY-ESO-1f peptide resulted in an increase or induction of NY-ESO-1 antibody responses in nine of ten patients. The sera reacted with recombinant NY-ESO-1 whole protein as well as the NY-ESO-1f peptide. An increase in CD4 and CD8 T cell responses was observed in nine of ten patients. Vaccine-induced CD4 and CD8 T cells responded to NY-ESO-1 91-108 in all patients with various HLA types with a less frequent response to neighboring peptides. The findings indicate that the 20-mer NY-ESO-1f peptide includes multiple epitopes recognized by CD4 and CD8 T cells with distinct specificity. Of ten patients, two with lung cancer and one with esophageal cancer showed stable disease. Our study shows that the NY-ESO-1f peptide vaccine was well tolerated and elicited humoral, CD4 and CD8 T cell responses in immunized patients.
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