Molecular subgroups and B7-H4 expression levels predict responses to dendritic cell vaccines in glioblastoma: an exploratory randomized phase II clinical trial

PMID: 30159779
Journal: Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII (volume: 67, issue: 11, Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 2018 Nov;67(11):1777-1788)
Published: 2018-08-22

Yao Y, Luo F, Tang C, Chen D, Qin Z, Hua W, Xu M, Zhong P, Yu S, Chen D, Ding X, Zhang Y, Zheng X, Yang J, Qian J, Deng Y, Hoon DSB, Hu J, Chu Y, Zhou L


Dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccination is a promising approach for active-specific immunotherapy, but is currently of limited efficacy. The safety and effectiveness of a DC vaccine (DCV) loaded with glioblastoma stem cell-like (GSC) antigens was assessed in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial, 43 GBM patients were randomized after surgery at a 1:1 ratio to receive either DCV (n = 22) or normal saline placebo (n = 21). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analysed. Participants were stratified into different molecular subgroups based on the mutation (MT) status of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1/2) and telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). Plasma cytokine levels, tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte numbers and immune co-inhibitory molecules PD-L1 and B7-H4 were also assessed. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that DCV treatment significantly prolonged OS (p = 0.02) after adjusting for IDH1 and TERT promoter MT and B7-H4 expression, primary vs recurrent GBM. Among IDH1 TERT patients, DCV treatment significantly prolonged OS (p < 0.01) and PFS (p = 0.03) and increased plasma levels of cytokines CCL22 and IFN-γ compared with placebo. Patients with low B7-H4 expression showed significantly prolonged OS (p = 0.02) after DCV treatment. Therefore, IDH1TERT and low B7-H4 expression identified subgroups of GBM patients more responsive to GSC DCV-based specific active-immunotherapy.