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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011 Feb;10(2):201-10. doi: 10.1586/erv.10.167.

Comparison of different HER2/neu vaccines in adjuvant breast cancer trials: implications for dosing of peptide vaccines.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, General Surgery Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, Ft. Sam, Houston, TX 78234, USA.


We have performed multiple adjuvant clinical trials using immunogenic peptides from the HER2/neu protein (AE37/E75/GP2) plus (GM-CSF) given intradermally to breast cancer patients. Four trials were performed with similar dose-escalation design with increasing doses of peptide (AE37/E75/GP2) and varying amounts of GM-CSF. Dose reductions (DRs) were made for significant local and/or systemic toxicity by decreasing GM-CSF for subsequent inoculations. Ex vivo and in vivo immunologic responses were used to compare groups. Of 132 patients, 39 required DR (30 for robust local reactions [DR-L]). DR patients, particularly DR-L, had greater immune responses both ex vivo and in vivo. Postvaccine delayed-type hypersensitivity in DR-L patients compared with all others was larger for E75 (p = 0.001), AE37 (p = 0.077) and GP2 (p = 0.076). All three peptide vaccines were safe and well-tolerated. These findings have led to a clinically relevant optimal vaccine dosing strategy, which may be applicable to other peptide-based cancer vaccines.

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