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J Immunother. 2013 Jan;36(1):57-65. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e3182780abc.

Cellular immunotherapy study of prostate cancer patients and resulting IgG responses to peptide epitopes predicted from prostate tumor-associated autoantigens.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.


The immunogenicity of a cellular immunotherapy using genetically modified vaccines to express α(1,3)galactosyl epitopes (αGal) was evaluated in advanced prostate cancer (PC) patients. In this dose escalation phase I study, we report safety, feasibility, and immunologic data of an immunotherapy composed of 2 human PC cell lines engineered to express αGal epitopes (HyperAcute-Prostate, HAP, NewLink Genetics). Eight patients received up to 12 biweekly vaccinations with HAP. Enrolled patients (aged range, 53-85 y) had American Joint Committee on Cancer stage IV, any T, any N, M1, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS≤2, at least 1 prior hormonal treatment and <3 prior chemotherapies, adequate bone marrow and organ function, and albumin ≥3.0 g/dL. Serum IgG antibodies to synthetic peptides overexpressed in PC were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results indicate that HAP immunotherapy induced humoral immune responses to autoantigens in 2 of 8 patients. These patients developed IgG antibody to multiple epitopes overexpressed in PC after immunization. These responding patients received higher doses of the immunotherapy suggesting a dose response. Two immunogenic proteins (prostate-specific membrane antigen, hepsin) belong to the extracellular molecules family participating in malignant cell invasion. Median overall survival for patients was 25.1 months with 1 patient surviving over 70 months with stable PSA and bone metastasis before expiring of other causes. Three of 8 patients showed PSA stabilization (>100 d). In conclusion, HAP immunotherapy induces IgG responses to epitopes from autoantigens overexpressed in PC suggesting dose-dependent effect. HAP represents a viable immunotherapy approach to induce immune responses against tumor cells and may provide clinical benefit with minimal toxicity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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