Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Feb 26;105(8):3005-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0712237105. Epub 2008 Feb 19.

Immunologic and clinical effects of antibody blockade of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 in previously vaccinated cancer patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Oncology and Cancer Vaccine Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) functions as a negative regulator of endogenous and vaccine-induced antitumor immunity. The administration of fully human anti-CTLA-4 blocking monoclonal antibodies to advanced-cancer patients increases immune-mediated tumor destruction in some subjects. Nonetheless, patients that respond also frequently manifest serious inflammatory pathologies, raising the possibility that the therapeutic and toxic effects of CTLA-4 blockade might be linked. Here we show that periodic infusions of anti-CTLA-4 antibodies after vaccination with irradiated, autologous tumor cells engineered to secrete GM-CSF (GVAX) generate clinically meaningful antitumor immunity without grade 3 or 4 toxicity in a majority of metastatic melanoma patients. The application of this sequential immunotherapy to advanced ovarian carcinoma patients also revealed that tumor destruction and severe inflammatory pathology could be dissociated, although further refinements are required to increase clinical responses and to minimize toxicity in this population. The extent of therapy-induced tumor necrosis was linearly related to the natural logarithm of the ratio of intratumoral CD8(+) effector T cells to FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) in posttreatment biopsies. Together, these findings help clarify the immunologic and clinical effects of CTLA-4 antibody blockade in previously vaccinated patients and raise the possibility that selective targeting of antitumor Tregs may constitute a complementary strategy for combination therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk