Article Abstract

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and survivin peptide vaccine combined with temozolomide in metastatic melanoma

Authors: Nikolaj Juul Nitschke, Jon Jon, Trine Zeeberg Iversen, Mads Hald Mads Hald, Inge Marie Svane

Abstract

Background: Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and survivin have been identified as potential targets for cancer vaccination. In this phase II study a vaccine using the peptides Sur1M2 and IDO5 was combined with the chemotherapy temozolomide (TMZ) for treatment of metastatic melanoma patients. The aim was to simultaneously target several immune inhibiting mechanisms and the highly malignant cells expressing survivin.
Methods: HLA-A2 positive patients with advanced malignant melanoma were treated biweekly with 150 mg/m2 TMZ daily for 7 days followed by subcutaneous vaccination with 250 µg of each peptide in 500 µL Montanide solution at day 8. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor was used as an adjuvant and topical imiquimod was applied prior to vaccination. Treatment was continued until disease progression. Clinical response was evaluated by PET-CT and immunological outcome was assessed by ELISPOT and flow cytometry.
Results: In total, 17 patients were treated with a clinical benefit rate of 18% including one patient with partial tumor regression. Immune analyses revealed a vaccine specific response in 8 (67%) of 12 patients tested, a significant decrease in the frequency of CD4+ T-cells during treatment, a tendency towards decreasing frequencies of naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, and increasing frequencies of memory CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate that vaccine-induced immunity towards survivin and IDO-derived peptides can be achieved in combination with TMZ in patients mainly suffering from grade M1c melanoma including patients with brain metastases. A significant clinical activity could not be proven in this small study and a larger setup is needed to properly assess clinical efficacy.

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