Background: Although most malignancies express cancer-testis antigens (CTA), immune responses to these proteins are limited in thoracic oncology patients. This trial was undertaken to examine if a cancer cell lysate vaccine could induce immunity to CTA, and to ascertain if metronomic cyclophosphamide and celecoxib enhances vaccine-induced immune responses.
Methods: Eleven patients with primary thoracic malignancies and 10 patients with extrathoracic neoplasms metastatic to the chest rendered NED by conventional therapies were randomized to receive H1299 lung cancer cell lysates (10 mg protein/vaccine) with Iscomatrix™ adjuvant via deep intradermal injection q 4 weeks ×6 with or without daily oral metronomic cyclophosphamide/celecoxib. The primary endpoint was serologic response to purified CTA assessed 1 month after the 6th vaccination. Secondary endpoints included assessment of the effects of cyclophosphamide and celecoxib on frequency and magnitude of vaccine-induced immune responses to CTA. Exploratory endpoints included evaluation of the effects of the vaccine regimens on peripheral immune subsets. Standard of care imaging studies were obtained at baseline and 1 month after the 3rd and 6th vaccinations.
Results: All patients exhibited local and systemic inflammatory responses lasting 72-96 hours following vaccinations. There were no dose limiting treatment related toxicities. Fourteen patients (67%) completed all six vaccinations. Eight of 14 patients (57%) exhibited serologic responses to NY-ESO-1. One patient developed antibodies to GAGE7; several patients exhibited reactivity to XAGE and MAGE-C2. Vaccine therapy decreased the percent of Tregs (P=0.0068), PD-1 expression on Tregs (P=0.0027), PD-L1 expression on CD14+ monocytes (P=0.0089), PD-L1 expression on classical monocytes (P=0.016), and PD-L1 expression on intermediate monocytes (P=0.0031). Cyclophosphamide/celecoxib did not appear to increase immune responses or enhance vaccine-induced alterations in peripheral immune subsets.
Conclusions: H1299 lysate vaccines with Iscomatrix™ induce immune responses to CTA and modulate peripheral immune subsets in a manner that may enhance antitumor immunity in patients with thoracic malignancies.
Keywords: Vaccine; cancer-testis antigen; first-in-human; pulmonary metastasis; thoracic malignancy.
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