A phase I/IIa study of the mRNA-based cancer immunotherapy CV9201 in patients with stage IIIB/IV non-small cell lung cancer

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2019 May;68(5):799-812. doi: 10.1007/s00262-019-02315-x. Epub 2019 Feb 15.


CV9201 is an RNActive®-based cancer immunotherapy encoding five non-small cell lung cancer-antigens: New York esophageal squamous cell carcinoma-1, melanoma antigen family C1/C2, survivin, and trophoblast glycoprotein. In a phase I/IIa dose-escalation trial, 46 patients with locally advanced (n = 7) or metastatic (n = 39) NSCLC and at least stable disease after first-line treatment received five intradermal CV9201 injections (400-1600 µg of mRNA). The primary objective of the trial was to assess safety. Secondary objectives included assessment of antibody and ex vivo T cell responses against the five antigens, and changes in immune cell populations. All CV9201 dose levels were well-tolerated and the recommended dose for phase IIa was 1600 µg. Most AEs were mild-to-moderate injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms. Three (7%) patients had grade 3 related AEs. No related grade 4/5 or related serious AEs occurred. In phase IIa, antigen-specific immune responses against ≥ 1 antigen were detected in 63% of evaluable patients after treatment. The frequency of activated IgD+CD38hi B cells increased > twofold in 18/30 (60%) evaluable patients. 9/29 (31%) evaluable patients in phase IIa had stable disease and 20/29 (69%) had progressive disease. Median progression-free and overall survival were 5.0 months (95% CI 1.8-6.3) and 10.8 months (8.1-16.7) from first administration, respectively. Two- and 3-year survival rates were 26.7% and 20.7%, respectively. CV9201 was well-tolerated and immune responses could be detected after treatment supporting further clinical investigation.

Keywords: Active cancer immunotherapy; CV9201; Clinical trial; Immunomonitoring; Non-small cell lung cancer; mRNA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / genetics
  • Cancer Vaccines / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Injection Site Reaction / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • RNA, Messenger / administration & dosage
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / immunology
  • RNA, Messenger / therapeutic use*
  • Survival Analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • RNA, Messenger