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J Immunother. 2008 May;31(4):420-30. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0b013e31816dad10.

A multipeptide vaccine is safe and elicits T-cell responses in participants with advanced stage ovarian cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Human Immune Therapy Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Nine participants with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal carcinoma, who were human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A1, HLA-A2, or HLA-A3, were eligible to enroll in a phase 1 study designed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of a peptide-based vaccine. Participants received 5 class I major histocompatibility complex-restricted synthetic peptides derived from multiple ovarian cancer-associated proteins plus a class II major histocompatibility complex-restricted synthetic helper peptide derived from tetanus toxoid protein. The vaccines were administered with granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor in Montanide ISA-51 adjuvant over a 7-week period. All vaccine-related toxicities were grade 1 to 2, the most common being injection site reaction (grade 2, 100%), fatigue (grade 1, 78%), and headache (grade 1, 67%). Lymphocytes from the peripheral blood and a node draining a secondary vaccine site (sentinel immunized node) were harvested during the course of vaccination and T-cell responses to the peptides were evaluated using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay. CD8 T-cell responses were detected in 1 participant ex vivo and in 8 of 9 participants (89%) after in vitro stimulation. All 4 HLA-A2 and HLA-A3-restricted peptides were immunogenic. This includes 2 peptides, folate binding protein (FBP191-199) and Her-2/neu754-762, which had not previously been evaluated in vaccines in humans. Responding T cells required over 200 nM for half-maximal reactivity. These data support continued investigation of these peptides as immunogens for patients with ovarian cancer but, owing to low potency, also suggest a need for additional immunomodulation in combination with vaccines to increase the magnitude and to improve the quality of the T-cell responses.

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