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Int J Cancer. 2012 Aug 15;131(4):874-84. doi: 10.1002/ijc.26481. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Function but not phenotype of melanoma peptide-specific CD8(+) T cells correlate with survival in a multiepitope peptide vaccine trial (ECOG 1696).

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

ECOG 1696 was a Phase II multi-center trial testing vaccination with melanoma peptides, gp100, MART-1 and tyrosinase delivered alone, with GM-CSF, IFN-α2b or both cytokines to HLA-A2(+) patients with metastatic melanoma. Here, the frequency of circulating CD8(+) tetramer(+) (tet(+) ) T cells and maturation stages of responding T cells were serially monitored and compared with baseline values in a subset of patients (n = 37) from this trial. Multiparameter flow cytometry was used to measure the frequency of CD8(+) T cells specific for gp100, MART-1, tyrosinase and influenza (FLU) peptides. Expression of CD45RA/CCR7 on CD8(+) tet(+) T cells and CD25, CD27, CD28 on all circulating T cells was determined. Vaccine-induced changes in the CD8(+) tet(+) T cell frequency and phenotype were compared with results of IFN-γ ELISPOT assays and with clinical responses. The frequency of CD8(+) tet(+) T cells in the circulation was increased for the melanoma peptides (p < 0.03-0.0001) but not for FLU (p < 0.9). Only gp100- and MART-1-specific T cells differentiated to CD45RA(+) CCR7(-) effector/memory T cells. In contrast to the IFN-γ ELISPOT frequency, previously correlated with overall survival (Kirkwood et al., Clin Cancer Res 2009;15:1443-51), neither the frequency nor differentiation stage of CD8(+) tet(+) T cells correlated with clinical responses. Delivery of GM-CSF and/or IFN-α2b had no effects on the frequency or differentiation of CD8(+) tet(+) , CD8+ or CD4+ T cells. Phenotypic analyses of CD8(+) tet(+) T cells did not correlate with clinical responses to the vaccine, indicating that functional assessments of peptide-specific T cells are preferable for monitoring of anti-tumor vaccines.

Copyright © 2011 UICC.

PMID:
22021080
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3658448
Free PMC Article

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