Therapeutic dendritic cell vaccination of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: a clinical phase 1/2 trial

PMID: 18779742
Journal: Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md. : 1997) (volume: 31, issue: 8, J. Immunother. 2008 Oct;31(8):771-80)
Published: 2008-10-01

Berntsen A, Trepiakas R, Wenandy L, Geertsen PF, thor Straten P, Andersen MH, Pedersen AE, Claesson MH, Lorentzen T, Johansen JS, Svane IM


Therapeutic dendritic cell (DC) vaccination against cancer is a strategy aimed at activating the immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells. In this nonrandomized phase 1/2 trial, we investigated the safety, feasibility, induction of T-cell response, and clinical response after treatment with a DC-based vaccine in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Twenty-seven patients with progressive cytokine-refractory metastatic renal cell carcinoma were vaccinated with DCs loaded with either a cocktail of survivin and telomerase peptides or tumor lysate depending on their HLA-A2 haplotype, and low-dose IL-2 was administered concomitantly. Tumor response, immune response, and serum IL-6 and YKL-40 were measured during treatment. Vaccine generation was successful in all patients and no serious adverse events were observed. None of the patients had an objective response but 13/27 patients obtained disease stabilization (SD) for more than 8 weeks. An antigen-specific immune response was demonstrated in 6/6 patients tested. Furthermore, significant alterations in serum YKL-40 and IL-6 were found during treatment. In conclusion, DC vaccination in our setting is feasible and without severe toxicity. Almost half of the patients obtained SD, and in more than 1/3 of the patients, SD persisted for more than 6 months. However, the evaluation of SD is difficult to interpret in the absence of a randomized trial and, therefore, these results should be interpreted with caution. Antigen-specific immune responses were observed in a subset of the treated patients.