06 July 2020

Researchers have announced results from an early trial of a ‘vaccine’ treatment for people with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).  

A team at led by Prof Ronald Levy from Stanford University, California, USA, undertook a phase 1/2 trial of 47 patients with mantle cell lymphoma who had received chemotherapy to put their disease in remission. The treatment involved vaccinating patients with their own tumour cells which had been activated with CpG. Following this, anti-tumour T cells were collected from the patients, and then reinfused after an autologous stem cell transplant.

After one year, 40 of the 45 patients who could be evaluated (89%) showed no minimal residual disease – a marker known to be associated with good relapse-free survival. The vaccine and autologous lymphocyte infusion were well tolerated.

The team also tested the memory T cell response in vitro by re-stimulating T cells with tumour cells. This test showed a significant memory T cell response in samples from 40% of patients. These patients had better clinical outcomes (significantly longer time to progression) compared those whose T cells did not show any memory T cell response.

Prof Ronald Levy, who led the study, said: “Overall, our data demonstrate that the addition of a CpG-activated whole cell tumour vaccination followed by adoptive transfer of vaccine-primed immune cells to the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma is feasible, safe, and can induce immune responses that are associated with a superior clinical outcome.”

The results were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Source: Frank MJ, Khodadoust MS, Czerwinski DK, Haabeth OAW, Chu MP, Miklos DB, Advani RH, Alizadeh AA, Gupta NK, Maeda LS, Reddy SA, Laport GG, Meyer EH, Negrin RS, Rezvani AR, Weng WK, Sheehan K, Faham M, Okada A, Moore AH, Phillips DL, Wapnir IL, Brody JD, Levy R. (2020) “Autologous tumor cell vaccine induces antitumor T cell immune responses in patients with mantle cell lymphoma: A phase I/II trial.” Journal of Experimental Medicine, doi: 10.1084/jem.20191712


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