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Nat Med. 2005 Nov;11(11):1230-7. Epub 2005 Oct 16.

Restoration of immunity in lymphopenic individuals with cancer by vaccination and adoptive T-cell transfer.

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University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and Center for Vaccine Development, 22 South Greene Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Immunodeficiency is a barrier to successful vaccination in individuals with cancer and chronic infection. We performed a randomized phase 1/2 study in lymphopenic individuals after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myeloma. Combination immunotherapy consisting of a single early post-transplant infusion of in vivo vaccine-primed and ex vivo costimulated autologous T cells followed by post-transplant booster immunizations improved the severe immunodeficiency associated with high-dose chemotherapy and led to the induction of clinically relevant immunity in adults within a month after transplantation. Immune assays showed accelerated restoration of CD4 T-cell numbers and function. Early T-cell infusions also resulted in significantly improved T-cell proliferation in response to antigens that were not contained in the vaccine, as assessed by responses to staphylococcal enterotoxin B and cytomegalovirus antigens (P < 0.05). In the setting of lymphopenia, combined vaccine therapy and adoptive T-cell transfer fosters the development of enhanced memory T-cell responses.

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