Purpose: CMB305 is a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen created to prime NY-ESO-1-specific CD8 T-cell populations and then activate the immune response with a potent TLR-4 agonist. This open-label randomized phase II trial was designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of adding the CMB305 regimen to atezolizumab (anti-programmed death ligand-1 therapy) in comparison with atezolizumab alone in patients with synovial sarcoma or myxoid liposarcoma.
Patients and methods: Patients with locally advanced, relapsed, or metastatic synovial sarcoma or myxoid liposarcoma (any grade) were randomly assigned to receive CMB305 with atezolizumab (experimental arm) or atezolizumab alone (control arm). The primary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Safety and immune responses were assessed.
Results: A total of 89 patients were enrolled; 55.1% had received ≥ 2 prior lines of chemotherapy. Median PFS was 2.6 months and 1.6 months in the combination and control arms, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.6 to 1.3). Median OS was 18 months in both treatment arms. Patients treated with combination therapy had a significantly higher rate of treatment-induced NY-ESO-1-specific T cells (P = .01) and NY-ESO-1-specific antibody responses (P < .0001). In a post hoc analysis of all dosed patients, OS was longer (36 months) in the subset who developed anti-NY-ESO-1 T-cell immune response (hazard ratio, 0.3; P = .02).
Conclusion: Although the combination of CMB305 and atezolizumab did not result in significant increases in PFS or OS compared with atezolizumab alone, some patients demonstrated evidence of an anti-NY-ESO-1 immune response and appeared to fare better by imaging than those without such an immune response. Combining prime-boost vaccines such as CMB305 with anti-programmed death ligand-1 therapies merits further evaluation in other clinical contexts.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02609984.