Gp100 peptide vaccine and interleukin-2 in patients with advanced melanoma.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Stimulating an immune response against cancer with the use of vaccines remains a challenge. We hypothesized that combining a melanoma vaccine with interleukin-2, an immune activating agent, could improve outcomes. In a previous phase 2 study, patients with metastatic melanoma receiving high-dose interleukin-2 plus the gp100:209-217(210M) peptide vaccine had a higher rate of response than the rate that is expected among patients who are treated with interleukin-2 alone. METHODS:We conducted a randomized, phase 3 trial involving 185 patients at 21 centers. Eligibility criteria included stage IV or locally advanced stage III cutaneous melanoma, expression of HLA*A0201, an absence of brain metastases, and suitability for high-dose interleukin-2 therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive interleukin-2 alone (720,000 IU per kilogram of body weight per dose) or gp100:209-217(210M) plus incomplete Freund's adjuvant (Montanide ISA-51) once per cycle, followed by interleukin-2. The primary end point was clinical response. Secondary end points included toxic effects and progression-free survival. RESULTS:The treatment groups were well balanced with respect to baseline characteristics and received a similar amount of interleukin-2 per cycle. The toxic effects were consistent with those expected with interleukin-2 therapy. The vaccine-interleukin-2 group, as compared with the interleukin-2-only group, had a significant improvement in centrally verified overall clinical response (16% vs. 6%, P=0.03), as well as longer progression-free survival (2.2 months; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 3.9 vs. 1.6 months; 95% CI, 1.5 to 1.8; P=0.008). The median overall survival was also longer in the vaccine-interleukin-2 group than in the interleukin-2-only group (17.8 months; 95% CI, 11.9 to 25.8 vs. 11.1 months; 95% CI, 8.7 to 16.3; P=0.06). CONCLUSIONS:In patients with advanced melanoma, the response rate was higher and progression-free survival longer with vaccine and interleukin-2 than with interleukin-2 alone. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00019682.).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) antibodies, such as ipilimumab, have generated measurable immune responses to Melan-A, NY-ESO-1, and gp100 antigens in metastatic melanoma. Vaccination against such targets has potential for immunogenicity and may produce an effector-memory T-cell response. METHODS:To determine the effect of CTLA-4 blockade on antigen-specific responses following vaccination, in-depth immune monitoring was performed on three ipilimumab-treated patients prevaccinated with gp100 DNA (IMF-24), gp100(209-217) and tyrosinase peptides plus GM-CSF DNA (IMF-32), or NY-ESO-1 protein plus imiquimod (IMF-11); peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed by tetramer and/or intracellular cytokine staining following 10-day culture with HLA-A*0201-restricted gp100(209-217) (ITDQVPFSV), tyrosinase(369-377) (YMDGTMSQV), or 20-mer NY-ESO-1 overlapping peptides, respectively. Tumors from IMF-32 were analyzed by immunohistochemistry to help elucidate mechanism(s) underlying tumor escape. RESULTS:Following vaccination, patients generated weak to no CD4(+) or CD8(+) T-cell response specific to the vaccine antigen but demonstrated increases in effector-memory (CCR7(lo)CD45RA(lo)) tetramer(+)CD8(+) T cells. After ipilimumab induction, patients experienced a robust, although sometimes transient, antigen-specific response for gp100 (IMF-32 and IMF-24) or NY-ESO-1 (IMF-11) and produced polyfunctional intracellular cytokines. Primary and metastatic tumors expressed tyrosinase but not gp100 or class I/II MHC molecules. CONCLUSION:Vaccination induced a measurable antigen-specific T-cell response that increased following CTLA-4 blockade, potentially "boosting" the vaccine-primed response. Tumor escape may be related to antigen loss or lack of MHC expression necessary for immune activity. These results in a limited number of patients support the need for further research into combining vaccination with ipilimumab and provide insight into mechanisms underlying tumor escape.
Project description:Effective cancer vaccines must both drive a strong CTL response and sustain long-term memory T cells capable of rapid recall responses to tumor antigens. We sought to characterize the phenotype and function of gp100 peptide-specific memory CD8+ T cells in melanoma patients after primary gp100(209-2M) immunization and assess the anamnestic response to boosting immunization.Eight-color flow cytometry analysis of gp100-specific CD8+ T cells was done on peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected shortly after the primary vaccine regimen, 12 to 24 months after primary vaccination, and after boosting immunization. The anamnestic response was assessed by comparing the frequency of circulating gp100-specific T cells before and after boosting. Gp100 peptide-induced in vitro functional avidity and proliferation responses and melanoma-stimulated T-cell CD107 mobilization were compared for cells from all three time points for multiple patients.The frequency of circulating gp100-specific memory CD8+ T cells was comparable with cytomegalovirus-specific and FLU-specific T cells in the same patients, and the cells exhibited anamnestic proliferation after boosting. Their phenotypes were not unique, and individual patients exhibited one of two distinct phenotype signatures that were homologous to either cytomegalovirus-specific or FLU-specific memory T cells. Gp100-specific memory T cells showed some properties of competent memory T cells, such as heightened in vitro peptide-stimulated proliferation and increase in central memory (TCM) differentiation when compared with T-cell responses measured after the primary vaccine regimen. However, they did not acquire enhanced functional avidity usually associated with competent memory T-cell maturation.Although vaccination with class I-restricted melanoma peptides alone can break tolerance to self-tumor antigens, it did not induce fully competent memory CD8+ T cells--even in disease-free patients. Data presented suggest other vaccine strategies will be required to induce functionally robust long-term memory T cells.
Project description:An improvement in overall survival among patients with metastatic melanoma has been an elusive goal. In this phase 3 study, ipilimumab--which blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 to potentiate an antitumor T-cell response--administered with or without a glycoprotein 100 (gp100) peptide vaccine was compared with gp100 alone in patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma.A total of 676 HLA-A*0201-positive patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma, whose disease had progressed while they were receiving therapy for metastatic disease, were randomly assigned, in a 3:1:1 ratio, to receive ipilimumab plus gp100 (403 patients), ipilimumab alone (137), or gp100 alone (136). Ipilimumab, at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight, was administered with or without gp100 every 3 weeks for up to four treatments (induction). Eligible patients could receive reinduction therapy. The primary end point was overall survival.The median overall survival was 10.0 months among patients receiving ipilimumab plus gp100, as compared with 6.4 months among patients receiving gp100 alone (hazard ratio for death, 0.68; P<0.001). The median overall survival with ipilimumab alone was 10.1 months (hazard ratio for death in the comparison with gp100 alone, 0.66; P=0.003). No difference in overall survival was detected between the ipilimumab groups (hazard ratio with ipilimumab plus gp100, 1.04; P=0.76). Grade 3 or 4 immune-related adverse events occurred in 10 to 15% of patients treated with ipilimumab and in 3% treated with gp100 alone. There were 14 deaths related to the study drugs (2.1%), and 7 were associated with immune-related adverse events.Ipilimumab, with or without a gp100 peptide vaccine, as compared with gp100 alone, improved overall survival in patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma. Adverse events can be severe, long-lasting, or both, but most are reversible with appropriate treatment. (Funded by Medarex and Bristol-Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00094653.)
Project description:The use of "anchor-fixed" altered peptide ligands is of considerable interest in the development of therapeutic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases, but the mechanism by which successful altered peptide ligands elicit enhanced immunity is unclear. In this study, we have determined the crystallographic structure of a major tumor rejection Ag, gp100(209-217), in complex with the HLA-A*0201 (HLA-A2) molecule, as well as the structure of a modified version of the peptide which substitutes methionine for threonine at position 2 (T2M; gp100(209-2M)). The T2M-modified peptide, which is more immunogenic in vitro and in vivo, binds HLA-A2 with a approximately 9-fold greater affinity and has a approximately 7-fold slower dissociation rate at physiological temperature. Within the limit of the crystallographic data, the T2M substitution does not alter the structure of the peptide/HLA-A2 complex. Consistent with this finding, in peripheral blood from 95 human subjects, we were unable to identify higher frequencies of T cells specific for either the native or modified peptide. These data strongly support the conclusion that the greater immunogenicity of the gp100(209-2M) peptide is due to the enhanced stability of the peptide/MHC complex, validating the anchor-fixing approach for generating therapeutic vaccine candidates. Thermodynamic data suggest that the enhanced stability of the T2M-modified peptide/HLA-A2 complex is attributable to the increased hydrophobicity of the modified peptide, but the gain due to hydrophobicity is offset considerably by the loss of a hydrogen bond made by the native peptide to the HLA-A2 molecule. Our findings have broad implications for the optimization of current vaccine-design strategies.
Project description:High-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) induces responses in 15% to 20% of patients with advanced melanoma; 5% to 8% are durable complete responses (CRs). The HLA-A2-restricted, modified gp100 peptide (210M) induces T-cell immunity in vivo and has little antitumor activity but, combined with high-dose IL-2, reportedly has a 42% (13 of 31 patients) response rate (RR). We evaluated 210M with one of three different IL-2 schedules to determine whether a basis exists for a phase III trial.In three separate phase II trials, patients with melanoma received 210M subcutaneously during weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10 and standard high-dose IL-2 during weeks 1 and 3 (trial 1), weeks 7 and 9 (trial 2), or weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10 (trial 3). Immune assays were performed on peripheral-blood mononuclear cells collected before and after treatment.From 1998 to 2003, 131 patients with HLA-A2-positive were enrolled. With 60-month median follow-up time, the overall RR for 121 assessable patients was 16.5% (95% CI, 10% to 26%); the RRs were 23.8% in trial 1 (42 patients), 12.5% in trial 2 (40 patients), and 12.8% in trial 3 (39 patients). There were 11 CRs (9%) and nine partial responses (7%), with 11 patients (9%) progression free at >or= 30 months. Immune studies including assays of CD3-zeta expression and numbers of CD4(+)/CD25(+)/FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells, CD15(+)/CD11b(+)/CD14(-) immature myeloid-derived cells, and CD8(+)gp100 tetramer-positive cells in the blood did not correlate with clinical benefit.The results again demonstrate efficacy of high-dose IL-2 in advanced melanoma but did not demonstrate the promising clinical activity reported with vaccine and high-dose IL-2 in any of three phase II trials.
Project description:Autologous dendritic cell (DC) therapy is an experimental cellular immunotherapy that is safe and immunogenic in patients with advanced melanoma. In an attempt to further improve the therapeutic responses, we treated 15 patients with melanoma, with autologous monocyte-derived immature DC electroporated with mRNA encoding CD40 ligand (CD40L), CD70 and a constitutively active TLR4 (caTLR4) together with mRNA encoding a tumor-associated antigen (TAA; respectively gp100 or tyrosinase). In addition, DC were pulsed with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) that served as a control antigen. Production of this DC vaccine with high cellular viability, high expression of co-stimulatory molecules and MHC class I and II and production of IL-12p70, was feasible in all patients. A vaccination cycle consisting of three vaccinations with up to 15×106 DC per vaccination at a biweekly interval, was repeated after 6 and 12 months in the absence of disease progression. mRNA-optimized DC were injected intranodally, because of low CCR7 expression on the DC, and induced de novo immune responses against control antigen. T cell responses against tyrosinase were detected in the skin-test infiltrating lymphocytes (SKIL) of two patients. One mixed tumor response and two durable tumor stabilizations were observed among 8 patients with evaluable disease at baseline. In conclusion, autologous mRNA-optimized DC can be safely administered intranodally to patients with metastatic melanoma but showed limited immunological responses against tyrosinase and gp100.
Project description:In an international, randomized Phase III trial ipilimumab demonstrated a significant overall survival benefit in previously treated advanced melanoma patients. This report summarizes health-related quality of life (HRQL) outcomes for ipilimumab with/without gp100 vaccine compared to gp100 alone during the clinical trial's 12 week treatment induction period.The Phase III clinical trial (MDX010-20) was a double-blind, fixed dose study in 676 previously treated advanced unresectable stage III or IV melanoma patients. Patients were randomized 3:1:1 to receive either ipilimumab (3 mg/kg q3w x 4 doses)?+?gp100 (peptide vaccine; 1 mg q3w x 4 doses; ipilimumab plus gp100, n = 403); gp100 vaccine + placebo (gp100 alone, n = 136); or ipilimumab + placebo (ipilimumab alone, n = 137). The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) assessed HRQL. Baseline to Week 12 changes in EORTC QLQ-C30 function, global health status, and symptom scores were analyzed for ipilimumab with/without gp100 vaccine compared to gp100 alone. Mean change in scores were categorized "no change" (0-5), "a little" (5-10 points), "moderate" (10-20 points), and "very much" (>20).In the ipilimumab plus gp100 and ipilimumab alone groups, mean changes from baseline to Week 12 generally indicated "no change" or "a little" impairment across EORTC QLQ-C30 global health status, function, and symptom subscales. Significant differences in constipation, favoring ipilimumab, were observed (p < 0.05). For ipilimumab alone arm, subscales with no or a little impairment were physical, emotional, cognitive, social function, global health, nausea, pain, dyspnea, constipation, and diarrhea subscales. For the gp100 alone group, the observed changes were moderate to large for global health, role function, fatigue, and for pain.Ipilimumab with/without gp100 vaccine does not have a significant negative HRQL impact during the treatment induction phase relative to gp100 alone in stage III or IV melanoma patients.Clinicaltrials.gov identification number NCT00094653.
Project description:Vaccination with tumor-associated antigens can induce cancer-specific CD8+ T cells. A recent improvement has been the targeting of antigen to dendritic cells (DC) using antibodies that bind DC surface molecules. This study explored the use of multi-trimers of CD40L to target the gp100 melanoma tumor antigen to DC. The spontaneously-multimerizing gene Surfactant Protein D (SPD) was used to fuse gp100 tumor antigen and CD40L, creating the recombinant protein SPD-gp100-CD40L. This "third generation" DC-targeting vaccine was designed to both target antigen to DC and optimally activate dendritic cells by aggregating CD40 trimers on the DC membrane surface. SPD-gp100-CD40L expressed as a 110kDa protein. Analytical light scattering analysis gave elution data corresponding to 4-trimer and multi-trimer SPD-gp100-CD40L oligomers. The protein was biologically active on dendritic cells and induced CD40-mediated NF-?B signaling. DNA vaccination with SPD-gp100-CD40L plasmid, together with plasmids encoding IL-12p70 and GM-CSF, significantly enhanced survival and inhibited tumor growth in a B16-F10 melanoma model. Expression of gp100 and SPD-CD40L as separate molecules did not enhance survival, highlighting the requirement to encode gp100 within SPD-CD40L for optimal vaccine activity. These data support a model where DNA vaccination with SPD-gp100-CD40L targets gp100 to DC in situ, induces activation of these DC, and generates a protective anti-tumor response when given in combination with IL-12p70 and GM-CSF plasmids.
Project description:To understand why cancer vaccine-induced T cells often fail to eradicate tumors, we studied immune responses in mice vaccinated with gp100 peptide emulsified in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), commonly used in clinical cancer vaccine trials. After gp100 peptide/IFA vaccination, tumor-specific CD8+ T cells (adoptively transferred from gp100-specific TCR-transgenic pmel-1 mice) accumulated not in tumors but at the persisting, antigen-rich vaccination site. Once there, primed T cells became dysfunctional and underwent antigen-driven, IFN-γ and FasL-mediated apoptosis, resulting in systemic hyporesponsiveness to subsequent vaccination. Provision of anti-CD40 antibody, TLR7 agonist and interleukin-2 (covax) reduced T cell apoptosis but did not prevent vaccination site sequestration. A non-persisting vaccine formulation shifted T cell localization towards tumors, inducing superior anti-tumor activity. Short-lived formulation also reduced systemic T cell dysfunction and promoted memory formation, as shown by gene expression profiling and other measures. Persisting peptide/IFA vaccine depots, currently used to vaccinate cancer patients, can induce specific T cell sequestration at vaccination sites followed by dysfunction and deletion; short-lived depot formulations may overcome these limitations and result in greater therapeutic efficacy of peptide-based cancer vaccines. To study the fate of melanoma-specific CD8+ T cells after peptide vaccination, we tracked T cell receptor-transgenic pmel-1 T cells in mice vaccinated with heteroclitic gp100_25-33 peptide emulsified in IFA. Splenic pmel-1 CD8+ T cells were purified at 6 and 21 days after vaccination with either gp100/IFA/covax or gp100/saline/covax, and then their total RNA was extracted and used for comparison by gene expression profiling.
Project description:T cells expressing antigen-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) can mediate effective tumor regression, but they often also are accompanied by autoimmune responses. To determine the TCR affinity threshold defining the optimal balance between effective antitumor activity and autoimmunity in vivo, we used a unique self-antigen system comprising seven human melanoma gp100(209-217)-specific TCRs spanning physiological affinities (1-100 ?M). We found that in vitro and in vivo T-cell responses are determined by TCR affinity, except in one case that was compensated by substantial CD8 involvement. Strikingly, we found that T-cell antitumor activity and autoimmunity are closely coupled but plateau at a defined TCR affinity of 10 µM, likely due to diminished contribution of TCR affinity to avidity above the threshold. Together, these results suggest that a relatively low-affinity threshold is necessary for the immune system to avoid self-damage, given the close relationship between antitumor activity and autoimmunity. The low threshold, in turn, indicates that adoptive T-cell therapy treatment strategies using in vitro-generated high-affinity TCRs do not necessarily improve efficacy.