A Phase IIb Randomized Controlled Trial of the TLPLDC Vaccine as Adjuvant Therapy After Surgical Resection of Stage III/IV Melanoma: A Primary Analysis

PMID: 33641012
Journal: Annals of surgical oncology (volume: 28, issue: 11, Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Oct;28(11):6126-6137)
Published: 2021-02-27

Vreeland TJ, Clifton GT, Hale DF, Chick RC, Hickerson AT, Cindass JL, Adams AM, Bohan PMK, Andtbacka RHI, Berger AC, Jakub JW, Sussman JJ, Terando AM, Wagner T, Peoples GE, Faries MB


BACKGROUND: Melanoma therapy has changed dramatically over the last decade with improvements in immunotherapy, yet many patients do not respond to current therapies. This novel vaccine strategy may prime a patient’s immune system against their tumor and work synergistically with immunotherapy against advanced-stage melanoma.

METHODS: This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase IIb trial of the tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell (TLPLDC) vaccine administered to prevent recurrence in patients with resected stage III/IV melanoma. Patients were enrolled and randomized 2:1 to the TLPLDC vaccine or placebo (empty yeast cell wall particles and autologous dendritic cells). Both intention-to-treat (ITT) and per treatment (PT) analyses were predefined, with PT analysis including patients who remained disease-free through the primary vaccine/placebo series (6 months).

RESULTS: A total of 144 patients were randomized (103 vaccine, 41 control). Therapy was well-tolerated with similar toxicity between treatment arms; one patient in each group experienced related serious adverse events. While disease-free survival (DFS) was not different between groups in ITT analysis, in PT analysis the vaccine group showed improved 24-month DFS (62.9% vs. 34.8%, p = 0.041).

CONCLUSIONS: This phase IIb trial of TLPLDC vaccine administered to patients with resected stage III/IV melanoma shows TLPLDC is well-tolerated and improves DFS in patients who complete the primary vaccine series. This suggests patients who do not recur early benefit from TLPLDC in preventing future recurrence from melanoma. A phase III trial of TLPLDC + checkpoint inhibitor versus checkpoint inhibitor alone in patients with advanced, surgically resected melanoma is under development.