Interferon-α2b enhances survival and modulates transcriptional profiles and the immune response in melanoma patients treated with dendritic cell vaccines

PMID: 32014686
Journal: Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie (volume: 125, issue: , Biomed. Pharmacother. 2020 May;125:109966)
Published: 2020-01-31

Sheng L, Chen X, Wang Q, Lyu S, Li P


Malignant melanoma (MM) is the most lethal cutaneous cancer and is associated with 80 % of skin cancer deaths. Recent progress into elucidating the role of the immune system in melanoma development and progression has led to promising treatments for patients with MM, including dendritic cell (DC) vaccination. Interferon-α2b is a commonly used adjuvant for MM that prolongs overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). In the present study, we examined the impact of a DC-based vaccine with subsequent delivery of high-dose systemic interferon-α2b (HDI) on gene expression profiles and the immune response in MM patients. The results indicated that patients who were randomized to receive an HDI boost following DC vaccination had significantly higher OS and PFS rates compared with patients that received DC vaccination alone. Further analysis revealed that intradermal DC immunization did not significantly alter transcriptional profiles, whereas subsequent HDI injections enhanced B cell, T cell and natural killer cell-related gene expression. Analysis of the abundance of tumor-infiltrating immune cells revealed that HDI altered the immune cell profiles. Moreover, we determined that follicular helper T (Tfh) cells and eosinophils were associated with prolonged PFS in MM patients treated with the DC vaccine.