Efficacy and safety of Wilms' tumor 1 helper peptide OCV-501 in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2022 Jun;71(6):1419-1430. doi: 10.1007/s00262-021-03074-4. Epub 2021 Oct 22.


Purpose: Complete remission (CR) of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in elderly patients has a short duration, and there is no suitable post-remission therapy. We explored the role of the Wilms' tumor 1 helper peptide OCV-501 to prevent recurrence after remission.

Methods: This placebo-controlled phase 2 study was designed to evaluate accurately the efficacy and immunogenicity of OCV-501 in elderly AML patients. Elderly AML patients who achieved first CR were randomly allocated to receive either OCV-501 (N = 69) or placebo (N = 65) once a week for eight weeks and then every two weeks until week 104. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS).

Results: Nineteen (27.5%) patients in the OCV-501 group and 23 (35.4%) patients in the placebo group completed the study without relapse. The median DFS in the OCV-501 and placebo groups was 12.1 and 8.4 months, respectively (p = 0.7671, hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.933 [0.590, 1.477]). The major drug adverse reactions were injection-site reactions. Although treatment with OCV-501 did not prolong DFS for elderly AML patients, post hoc analysis found that immune responders to OCV-501 whose specific IgG was > 10,000 ng/mL (N = 16) and whose WT1-specific interferon-γ response was > 10 pg/mL (N = 26) had significantly longer overall survival compared with placebo.

Conclusions: The placebo-controlled design of this study and quantitative immunological monitoring provides new insight into the relationship between peptide-induced immune responses and survival, suggesting future perspectives for cancer immunotherapy.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia; Elderly; Immunotherapy; OCV-501; Wilms’ tumor 1 helper peptide.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute*
  • Peptides
  • Remission Induction
  • WT1 Proteins*


  • Peptides
  • WT1 Proteins