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Int J Cancer. 2005 May 10;114(6):936-41.

Peptide vaccination after repeated resection of metastases can induce a prolonged relapse-free interval in melanoma patients.

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Hematology, Oncology and Transfusion Medicine, Medizinische Klinik III, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, D-12200 Berlin, Germany.


This pilot study was carried out to gain a first insight into the effects of peptide vaccination in melanoma patients in the high-risk adjuvant disease setting. From the adjuvant peptide vaccination studies carried out in our institution since 1998, we identified all melanoma patients with a history of at least 3 completely resected metastases during the year preceding enrollment into the trial and describe the clinical and immunologic observations. Out of a total of 44 patients with resected cutaneous melanoma entered into adjuvant peptide vaccination trials, 9 patients were identified with more than 3 metastases in the year before vaccination. After initiation of vaccination, 2 patients remained relapse-free for 27 and 42+ months, 2 patients experienced single or several initial relapses and subsequent relapse-free intervals of 18 and 65+ months, whereas 5 patients progressed. In both patients with relapse after prolonged relapse-free intervals, the relapses were initially confined to the small intestine and could be resected. Induction or boosting of functional tyrosinase peptide-specific T cells was noted in 6 of 8 patients, including all 4 patients with prolonged relapse-free intervals. In conclusion, adjuvant peptide vaccination was associated with cessation of recurrences in 4 of 9 patients, of whom all 4 had an immunologic response to the vaccine.

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