Background: The aim of this retrospective study was to clarify the safety and efficacy of dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy targeting synthesized peptides, Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) and Mucin 1, cell surface associated (MUC1) for biliary tract cancers (BTCs).
Methods: Sixty-five patients who had nonresectable, recurrent, or metastatic BTCs and received the DC-based immunotherapy were selected for the study. DCs were pulsed with WT1 and/or MUC1. The adverse events (AEs) and clinical responses were examined.
Results: No serious treatment-related AEs were observed. Median survival time (MST) from diagnosis and from the first vaccination was 18.5 and 7.2 months, respectively. By multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, the significant independent factors were found to be (1) combined chemotherapy, (2) albumin level ≥4.0 g/dL before vaccination, (3) C-reactive protein level <0.5 mg/dL before vaccination, and (4) fever after vaccination. The MST from the first vaccination with or without chemotherapy was 8.2 and 5.3 months, respectively (P = 0.016), and MST for the patients with prognostic nutritional index ≥40 and <40 was 8.1 and 5.0 months, respectively (P = 0.023).
Conclusions: Although a small uncontrolled nonrandomized study, DC-based immunotherapy for BTCs was safe and produced a clinical response for the patients who underwent chemotherapy and maintained a good nutrition status.