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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2012 Feb;61(2):157-168. doi: 10.1007/s00262-011-1093-4. Epub 2011 Aug 20.

Immunological responses in cancer patients after vaccination with the therapeutic telomerase-specific vaccine Vx-001.

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Laboratory of Tumor Biology, Medical School, University of Crete, Voutes, 71110, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Laboratory of Tumor Biology, Medical School, University of Crete, Voutes, 71110, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Department of Medical Oncology, University General Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
Vaxon Biotech, Paris, France.
Department of Medical Oncology, "IASO" General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Vx-001, an HLA-A*0201 restricted telomerase (TERT)-specific anti-tumor vaccine, is composed of the 9-mer cryptic TERT(572) peptide and its optimized variant TERT(572Y). We have previously shown that Vx-001 is non-toxic, highly immunogenic and in vaccinated NSCLC patients early specific immune response is associated with prolonged survival. The aim of the present study was to investigate the specific T-cell immune response against Vx-001. Fifty-five patients with chemo-resistant advanced solid tumors were vaccinated with TERT(572Y) (2 subcutaneous injections) followed by TERT(572) peptide (4 subcutaneous injections) every 3 weeks. Specific immune response was evaluated by IFN-γ and perforin ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining assays. TERT-reactive T cells were detected in 27 (51%) out of 53 evaluable patients after the 2nd vaccination and in 22 (69%) out of 32 evaluable patients after the completion of 6 vaccinations. Immune responses developed irrespective of the stage of disease and disease status before vaccination. Patients with disease progression at study entry who developed a post-vaccination-induced immunological response had a significant overall survival benefit compared to the post-vaccination non-responders. The Vx-001 vaccine is a promising candidate for cancer immunotherapy since it can induce a TERT-specific T-cell immune response that is associated with prolonged survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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