Phase I trial evaluating safety and efficacy of intratumorally administered inflammatory allogeneic dendritic cells (ilixadencel) in advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2020 Nov;69(11):2393-2401. doi: 10.1007/s00262-020-02625-5. Epub 2020 Jun 13.


Background: The majority of patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) develop resistance to imatinib, and subsequent treatments have limited efficacy. Ilixadencel (allogeneic inflammatory dendritic cells) is a cell-based immune primer injected intratumorally that previously has been clinically investigated in metastatic renal cell carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Methods: The trial was a single arm phase I trial assessing safety and efficacy of ilixadencel in subjects with progressing advanced/metastatic GIST despite ongoing treatment with second or later lines of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). Three patients were progressing while on sunitinib (second line), one on regorafenib (third line), and two on pazopanib (fourth line). TKI treatment was maintained throughout, while two intratumoral injections of ilixadencel (10 × 106 viable and HLA-DR expressing cells per dose) were administered.

Results: No severe adverse events were found to be related to ilixadencel administration. Four patients showed continued tumor progression at 3 months per RECIST 1.1 and Choi criteria. One patient (on third line regorafenib) had stable disease for 9 months and another patient (on second line sunitinib) had stable disease at end of study (12 months) as per RECIST 1.1. These two patients developed a partial response as per Choi criteria with a duration of 3 and 6 months, respectively. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.0 months.

Conclusion: Ilixadencel treatment presented an acceptable safety profile among advanced GIST patients who developed resistance to TKI. Encouraging radiological tumor responses were detected in 33% of treated patients, supporting further investigation. Clinical trial registration ; NCT: 02432846; registration date: February 22, 2016.

Keywords: Cell therapy; Dendritic cells; Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; Ilixadencel; Immunotherapy; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dendritic Cells / transplantation*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antineoplastic Agents