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Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 1;12(3 Pt 1):878-87.

Combination of p53 cancer vaccine with chemotherapy in patients with extensive stage small cell lung cancer.

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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.



The initial goal of this study was to test the immunologic and clinical effects of a new cancer vaccine consisting of dendritic cells (DC) transduced with the full-length wild-type p53 gene delivered via an adenoviral vector in patients with extensive stage small cell lung cancer.


Twenty-nine patients with extensive stage small cell lung cancer were vaccinated repeatedly at 2-week intervals. Most of the patients received three immunizations. p53-specific responses were evaluated, and phenotype and function of T cells, DCs, and immature myeloid cells were analyzed and correlated with antigen-specific immune responses. Objective clinical response to vaccination as well as subsequent chemotherapy was evaluated.


p53-specific T cell responses to vaccination were observed in 57.1% of patients. Immunologic responses to vaccination were positively associated with a moderate increase in the titer of antiadenovirus antibodies, and negatively with an accumulation of immature myeloid cells. One patient showed a clinical response to vaccination whereas most of the patients had disease progression. However, we observed a high rate of objective clinical responses to chemotherapy (61.9%) that immediately followed vaccination. Clinical response to subsequent chemotherapy was closely associated with induction of immunologic response to vaccination.


This study provides clinical support for an emerging paradigm in cancer immunotherapy, wherein optimal use of vaccination might be more effective, not as a separate modality, but in direct combination with chemotherapy.

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