A phase I clinical trial combining dendritic cell vaccination with adoptive T cell transfer in patients with stage IV melanoma

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014 Oct;63(10):1061-71. doi: 10.1007/s00262-014-1575-2. Epub 2014 Jul 4.


Adoptive transfer of in vitro-expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) has shown great clinical benefit in patients with malignant melanoma. TIL therapy itself has little side effects, but conditioning chemo- or radiotherapy and postinfusion interleukin 2 (IL-2) injections are associated with severe adverse advents. We reasoned that combining TIL infusion with dendritic cell (DC) vaccination could circumvent the need for conditioning and IL-2 support and thus represent a milder treatment approach. Eight patients with stage IV melanoma were enrolled in the MAT01 study, consisting of vaccination with autologous tumor-lysate-loaded DC, followed by TIL infusion. Six of eight patients were treated according to protocol, while one patient received only TIL and one only DC. Treatments were well tolerated with a single grade 3 adverse event. The small study size precludes analysis of clinical responses, though interestingly one patient showed a complete remission and two had stable disease. Analysis of the infusion products revealed that mature DC were generated in all cases. TIL after expansion were CD3+ T cells, dominated by effector memory CD8+ cytotoxic T cells. Analysis of the T cell receptor repertoire revealed presence of highly dominant clones in most infusion products, and many of these could be detected in the circulation for weeks after T cell transfer. Here, we report the first combination of DC vaccination and TIL infusion in malignant melanoma. This combined treatment was safe and feasible, though after evaluating both clinical and immunological parameters, we expect that administration of lymphodepleting chemotherapy and IL-2 will likely increase treatment efficacy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / transplantation*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / immunology*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Young Adult