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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2013 Oct;22(10):1329-36. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2013.822066. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

IMA901: a peptide vaccine in renal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1University of Tübingen, Department of Urology , Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, Tübingen, 72076 , Germany bedke@live.com.



Immunotherapy has always been a promising therapeutic approach in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) with frequently observed long-term responders. Since then, immunotherapy emerged from rather unspecific approaches to a specific stimulation of the immune system by tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) in therapeutic vaccination trials. Current vaccine trials are mainly based on the unspecific stimulation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) by tumor cell lysates with not clearly defined TAAs.


IMA901 is a novel synthetic off-the-shelf vaccine consisting of 10 different tumor-associated peptides (TUMAPs), which has entered a Phase III trial. The preceding Phase I and II trials demonstrated a clear association of a clinical benefit in mRCC patients with an immunological response to the administered TUMAPs.


IMA901 is a first-in-class drug, which is administered together with GM-CSF and single-dose cyclophosphamide. This triumvirate of vaccine, a local and a systemic immunomodulator showed an improved clinical benefit in mRCC patients. This interplay effectively activated cytotoxic T cells. Future strategies will lead to improved local immunomodulators to boost the activation of APCs, systemic immunomodulators to suppress Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and antigens of higher cancer specificity and immunogenicity, together with an optimal schedule and dosage of the vaccine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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