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J Immunother. 2004 Nov-Dec;27(6):472-7.

Immunization of HLA-A*0201 and/or HLA-DPbeta1*04 patients with metastatic melanoma using epitopes from the NY-ESO-1 antigen.

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Surgery Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1502, USA.


HLA class I-restricted peptides are often used in peptide vaccine regimens. There is strong evidence that many of these peptides can generate specific CD8 T-cell responses in vivo; however, only occasional objective clinical responses have been reported. To test whether provision of "help" would enhance antitumor immunity, the authors initiated a clinical trial in which patients with metastatic melanoma were immunized against the NY-ESO-1 tumor antigen, using an HLA-A2-restricted peptide (ESO-1:165V), an HLA-DP4-restricted peptide (NY-ESO-1:161-180), or both peptides given concomitantly. The first cohorts received only ESO-1:165V, using three vaccination schedules. Immunologically, most patients developed immune responses to the HLA-A2-restricted native ESO-1 epitope after vaccination. Peptide vaccine given daily for 4 days appeared to induce immunologic responses more rapidly than if given once a week or once every 3 weeks. In contrast, vaccination using the NY-ESO-1:161-180 peptide induced immune responses in only a few patients. Clinically, one patient who received NY-ESO-1:161-180 peptide alone had a partial response lasing 12 months. Concomitant vaccination with the HLA class II-restricted peptide did not alter the immune response to the HLA class I-restricted peptide form NY-ESO-1. However, vaccination with the HLA-A2-restricted epitope generated primarily T cells that did not recognize tumor after in vitro sensitization. This result raises questions about the use of synthetic peptides derived from NY-ESO-1 as a sole form of immunization.

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