Extended evaluation of a phase 1/2 trial on dosing, safety, immunogenicity, and overall survival after immunizations with an advanced-generation Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D) vaccine in late-stage colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT: A phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating dosing, safety, immunogenicity, and overall survival on metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients after immunotherapy with an advanced-generation Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D) vaccine was performed. We report our extended observations on long-term overall survival and further immune analyses on a subset of treated patients including assessment of cytolytic T cell responses, T regulatory (Treg) to T effector (Teff) cell ratios, flow cytometry on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and determination of HLA-A2 status. An overall survival of 20 % (median survival 11 months) was observed during long-term follow-up, and no long-term adverse effects were reported. Cytolytic T cell responses increased after immunizations, and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were induced whether or not patients were HLA-A2 positive or Ad5 immune. PBMC samples from a small subset of patients were available for follow-up immune analyses. It was observed that the levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-specific CMI activity decreased from their peak values during follow-up in five patients analyzed. Preliminary results revealed that activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were detected in a post-immunization sample exhibiting high CMI activity. Treg to Teff cell ratios were assessed, and samples from three of five patients exhibited a decrease in Treg to Teff cell ratio during the treatment protocol. Based upon the favorable safety and immunogenicity data obtained, we plan to perform an extensive immunologic and survival analysis on mCRC patients to be enrolled in a randomized/controlled clinical trial that investigates Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D) as a single agent with booster immunizations.
Project description:First-generation, E1-deleted adenovirus subtype 5 (Ad5)-based vectors, although promising platforms for use as cancer vaccines, are impeded in activity by naturally occurring or induced Ad-specific neutralizing antibodies. Ad5-based vectors with deletions of the E1 and the E2b regions (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]), the latter encoding the DNA polymerase and the pre-terminal protein, by virtue of diminished late phase viral protein expression, were hypothesized to avoid immunological clearance and induce more potent immune responses against the encoded tumor antigen transgene in Ad-immune hosts. Indeed, multiple homologous immunizations with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D), encoding the tumor antigen carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), induced CEA-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses with antitumor activity in mice despite the presence of preexisting or induced Ad5-neutralizing antibody. In the present phase I/II study, cohorts of patients with advanced colorectal cancer were immunized with escalating doses of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA(6D). CEA-specific CMI responses were observed despite the presence of preexisting Ad5 immunity in a majority (61.3 %) of patients. Importantly, there was minimal toxicity, and overall patient survival (48 % at 12 months) was similar regardless of preexisting Ad5 neutralizing antibody titers. The results demonstrate that, in cancer patients, the novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] gene delivery platform generates significant CMI responses to the tumor antigen CEA in the setting of both naturally acquired and immunization-induced Ad5-specific immunity.
Project description:Adenovirus vectors have been shown to be highly effective as vaccine platforms capable of inducing both humoral and cell mediated immune (CMI) responses. An Ad serotype 5 vector containing unique deletions in the E2b region (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) has been reported to have several advantages over conventional Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors deleted in only the E1 region (Ad5 [E1-]), including increased carrying capacity and diminished viral late gene expression. Here, we evaluated a novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vector utilizing the E.C7 cell line for viral packaging. Its' effectiveness as a potential vaccine platform as compared to the currently utilized Ad5 [E1-]-based platform was assessed in both Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune mice. We employed the HIV-1 Gag gene as the antigenic transgene expressed by the novel vector. Cellular expression of the Gag was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Dose response studies using three intradermal immunizations of 10(7) to 10(10) virus particles (VP) of each construct revealed that immunization with 10(10)VP resulted in the maximum immunological response. Multiple immunizations of Ad naïve BALB/c mice with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b]-gag vaccine resulted in higher ELISpot CMI responses as compared to mice immunized with an Ad5 [E1-]-gag vaccine. More importantly, multiple immunizations of Ad5 immune BALB/c mice with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b]-gag vaccine resulted in significant increases in ELISpot CMI responses when compared to Ad5 immune mice vaccinated with an Ad5 [E1-]-gag vector. Preliminary studies in three Ad5 immune non-human primates (NHP) demonstrated that vaccination with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-gag-induced elevated levels of interferon-gamma and IL-2 secreting lymphocytes as assessed by ELISpot assays. These studies indicate that the novel Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] viral vector can be utilized as a potential vaccine platform to induce elevated CMI responses as compared to current generation Ad5 [E1-] viral vectors even in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity.
Project description:The effectiveness of recombinant Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors to induce immune responses against targeted antigens has been limited by the presence of pre-existing or Ad5 vaccine induced anti-vector immunity. The Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform, a recombinant Ad5 with additional deletions, has been previously reported by us to induce immune responses in the presence of Ad5 immunity. In an Ad5 immune non-human primate (NHP) model, an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] construct expressing HIV-1 Gag induced immune responses in the presence of pre-existing Ad5 immunity. In the present study we expand on these prior observations by comparing the cell mediated immune (CMI) responses induced by Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-SIV-gag/nef in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune NHP. Additionally, NHP were immunized with an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HIV-pol construct following two homologous administrations of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-SIV-gag/nef to determine if an immune response could be induced against a third antigen in the presence of vaccine induced Ad5 immunity. Positive CMI responses, as assessed by interferon-gamma (IFN-?) secreting lymphocytes, were induced against all three antigens. These CMI responses increased over a course of multiple immunizations and the response profiles observed in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immune NHP were similar. No influence of the major histocompatibility complex on CMI responses was observed. These data indicate that the new Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform based vaccine could be used for homologous vaccination regimes to induce robust CMI responses in the presence of Ad5 vector immunity.
Project description:Recombinant Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors have been used as vaccine platforms in numerous animal and human clinical studies. The immune response induced by Ad5 vaccines can be mitigated due to pre-existing Ad5 immunity. We previously reported the use of a novel Ad5 platform to induce cellular immune responses (CMI) against HIV-1 Gag in Ad5 hyper immune mice. Here, the effectiveness of the Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] vaccine platform was evaluated using a triad mixture of HIV-1 Gag, Pol, and Nef as antigenic transgenes. Broad CMI was induced following vaccination with the HIV-1 expressing vectors in Ad5 naïve and Ad5 immunized mice. A mixture of the three vaccines induced CMI against each transgene product even in the presence of hyper Ad5 immunity. These studies revealed that CMI responses to immunization with Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-gag, Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-pol or Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-nef vectors were transgene specific and did not induce CMI responses against irrelevant antigens such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B (HSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) or influenza virus antigens. We are evaluating this recombinant triad viral vector as an HIV-1 vaccine in a non-human primate model and the data indicate that the vaccine is worthy of clinical evaluation.
Project description:Phenotypic heterogeneity of human carcinoma lesions, including heterogeneity in expression of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), is a well-established phenomenon. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), MUC1, and brachyury are diverse TAAs, each of which is expressed on a wide range of human tumors. We have previously reported on a novel adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vector gene delivery platform (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) in which regions of the early 1 (E1), early 2 (E2b), and early 3 (E3) genes have been deleted. The unique deletions in this platform result in a dramatic decrease in late gene expression, leading to a marked reduction in host immune response to the vector. Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA vaccine (ETBX-011) has been employed in clinical studies as an active vaccine to induce immune responses to CEA in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. We report here the development of novel recombinant Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-brachyury and-MUC1 vaccine constructs, each capable of activating antigen-specific human T cells in vitro and inducing antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vaccinated mice. We also describe the use of a combination of the three vaccines (designated Tri-Ad5) of Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-CEA, Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-brachyury and Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-MUC1, and demonstrate that there is minimal to no "antigenic competition" in in vitro studies of human dendritic cells, or in murine vaccination studies. The studies reported herein support the rationale for the application of Tri-Ad5 as a therapeutic modality to induce immune responses to a diverse range of human TAAs for potential clinical studies.
Project description:CD4(+)CD25(high)FoxP3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells limit antigen-specific immune responses and are a cause of suppressed anticancer immunity. In preclinical and clinical studies, we assessed the immune consequences of FoxP3(+) Treg-cell depletion in patients with advanced malignancies. We demonstrated that a CD25(high) targeting immunotoxin (denileukin diftitox) depleted FoxP3(+) Treg cells, decreased Treg-cell function, and enhanced antigen-specific T-cell responses in vitro. We then attempted to enhance antitumor immune responses in patients with carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)-expressing malignancies by Treg-cell depletion. In a pilot study (n = 15), denileukin diftitox, given as a single dose or repeated dosing, was followed by immunizations with dendritic cells modified with the fowlpox vector rF-CEA(6D)-TRICOM. By flow cytometric analysis, we report the first direct evidence that circulating CD4(+)CD25(high)FoxP3(+) Treg cells are depleted after multiple doses of denileukin diftitox. Earlier induction of, and overall greater exposure to, the T-cell response to CEA was observed in the multiple-dose group, but not the single-dose group. These results indicate the potential for combining Treg-cell depletion with anticancer vaccines to enhance tumor antigen-specific immune responses and the need to explore dose and schedule of Treg depletion strategies in optimizing vaccine efforts.
Project description:Anti-vector immunity mitigates immune responses induced by recombinant adenovirus vector vaccines, limiting their prime-boost capabilities. We have developed a novel gene delivery and expression platform (Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]) that induces immune responses despite pre-existing and/or developed concomitant Ad5 immunity. In the present study, we evaluated if this new Ad5 platform could overcome the adverse condition of pre-existing Ad5 immunity to induce effective immune responses in prime-boost immunization regimens against two different infectious diseases in the same animal. Ad5 immune rhesus macaques (RM) were immunized multiple times with the Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform expressing antigens from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Immunized RM developed cell-mediated immunity against SIV antigens Gag, Pol, Nef and Env as well as antibody against Env. Vaccinated and vector control RMs were challenged intra-rectally with homologous SIVmac239. During a 7-week follow-up, there was perturbation of SIV load in some immunized RM. At 7 weeks post-challenge, eight immunized animals (53%) did not have detectable SIV, compared to two RM controls (13%) (P<0.02; log-rank Mantel-Cox test). There was no correlation of protective MHC contributing to infection control. The RM without detectable circulating SIV, now hyper immune to Ad5, were then vaccinated with the same Ad5 [E1-, E2b-] platform expressing H1N1 influenza hemagglutinin (HA). Thirty days post Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HA vaccination, significant levels of influenza neutralizing antibody were induced in all animals that increased after an Ad5 [E1-, E2b-]-HA homologous boost. These data demonstrate the versatility of this new vector platform to immunize against two separate disease targets in the same animal despite the presence of immunity against the delivery platform, permitting homologous repeat immunizations with an Ad5 gene delivery platform.
Project description:Recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) vectors are promising vaccine candidates due to their intrinsic immunogenicity and potent transgene expression; however, widespread preexisting Ad5 immunity has been considered a developmental impediment to the use of traditional, or conventional, E1 and E3 gene-deleted Ad5 (Ad5[E1-]) vaccines. Even in the presence of anti-Ad5 immunity, recent murine and human studies have confirmed E2b gene-deleted Ad5 (Ad5[E1-,E2b-]) vaccines to be highly efficacious inducers of transgene-specific memory responses and significantly less toxic options than Ad5[E1-] vaccines. While these findings have been substantially confirmed, the molecular mechanisms underlying the different reactions to these vaccine platforms are unknown. Using cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (hPBMCs) derived from multiple human donors, we found that Ad5[E1-,E2b-] vaccines trigger higher levels of hPBMC proinflammatory cytokine secretion than Ad5[E1-] vaccines. Interestingly, these responses were generated regardless of the donors' preexisting anti-Ad5 humoral and cell-mediated immune response status. <i>In vitro</i> hPBMC infection with the Ad5[E1-,E2b-] vaccine also provoked greater Th1-dominant gene responses yet smaller amounts of Ad-derived gene expression than Ad5[E1-] vaccines. These results suggest that Ad5[E1-,E2b-] vaccines, in contrast to Ad5[E1-] vaccines, do not promote activities that suppress innate immune signaling, thereby allowing for improved vaccine efficacy and a superior safety profile independently of previous Ad5 immunity.
Project description:Lassa virus (LASV), the causative agent of Lassa fever (LF), was first identified in 1969. Since then, outbreaks in the endemic countries of Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone occur on an annual basis resulting in a case-fatality rate of 15-70% in hospitalized patients. There is currently no licensed vaccine and there are limited animal models to test vaccine efficacy. An estimated 37.7 million people are at risk of contracting LASV; therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of a safe, effective vaccine against LASV infection. The LF endemic countries are also inflicted with HIV, Ebola, and malaria infections. The safety in immunocompromised populations must be considered in LASV vaccine development. The novel adenovirus vector-based platform, Ad5 (E1-,E2b-) has been used in clinical trial protocols for treatment of immunocompromised individuals, has been shown to exhibit high stability, low safety risk in humans, and induces a strong cell-mediated and pro-inflammatory immune response even in the presence of pre-existing adenovirus immunity. To this nature, our lab has developed an Ad5 (E1-,E2b-) vector-based vaccine expressing the LASV-NP or LASV-GPC. We found that guinea pigs vaccinated with two doses of Ad5 (E1-,E2b-) LASV-NP and Ad5 (E1-,E2b-) LASV-GPC were protected against lethal LASV challenge. The Ad5 (E1-,E2b-) LASV-NP and LASV-GPC vaccine represents a potential vaccine candidate against LF.
Project description:Prime-boost vaccination with recombinant (r) vaccinia(V)-CEA(6D)-TRICOM (triad of co-stimulatory molecules B7.1, ICAM-1 and LFA-3) and rFowlpox(F)-CEA(6D)-TRICOM infect antigen-presenting cells and direct expression of co-stimulatory molecules. We hypothesized that co-administration of vaccine with GM-CSF and interferon alpha (IFN-?) would have efficacy in CEA-expressing cancers. Patients with CEA-expressing cancers received the rV-CEA(6D)-TRICOM vaccine subcutaneously (s.c.) on day 1 followed by GM-CSF s.c. to the injection site on days 1-4. In Cycle 1, patients received thrice weekly s.c. injections of IFN-?-2b the week after rV-CEA(6D)-TRICOM. In Cycles 2-4, patients received thrice weekly s.c. injections of IFN-?-2b the same week that rF-CEA(6D)-TRICOM was given. The first cohort received no IFN followed by dose escalation of IFN-? in subsequent cohorts. Thirty-three patients were accrued (mean 59.8 years). Grade 3 toxicities included fatigue and hyperglycemia. Grade 4-5 adverse events (unrelated to treatment) were confusion (1), elevated aspartate transaminase (AST)/alanine transaminase (ALT) (1), and sudden death (1). No patients had a partial response, and eight patients exhibited stable disease of ?3 months. Median progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) were 1.8 and 6.3 months, respectively. Significantly higher serum CD27 levels were observed after vaccine therapy (p = 0.006 post 1-2 cycles, p = 0.003 post 3 cycles, p = 0.03 post 4-7 cycles) and 42 % of patients assayed developed CEA-specific T cell responses. Pre-treatment levels of myeloid-derived suppressor cells correlated with overall survival (p = 0.04). Administration of IFN-? led to significantly increased OS (p = 0.02) compared to vaccine alone. While the vaccine regimen produced no clinical responses, IFN-? administration was associated with improved survival.