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1.  Analyses of Pre-therapy Peripheral Immunoscore and Response to Vaccine Therapy 
Cancer immunology research  2016;4(9):755-765.
Tumor immunoscore analyses, especially for primary colorectal cancer and melanoma lesions, provide valuable prognostic information. Metastatic lesions of many carcinoma types, however, are often not easily accessible. We hypothesized that immune cells in peripheral blood may differ among individual patients with metastatic disease, which, in turn, may influence their response to immunotherapy. We thus analyzed immune cell subsets within peripheral blood mononuclear cells to determine if a “peripheral immunoscore” could have any prognostic significance for patients before receiving immunotherapy. Patients with metastatic breast cancer were randomized to receive docetaxel ± PANVAC vaccine. In another trial, prostate cancer patients with metastatic bone lesions were randomized to receive a bone-seeking radionuclide ± PROSTVAC vaccine. Predefined analyses of “classic” immune cell types (CD4, CD8, natural killer cells, regulatory T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and ratios) revealed no differences in progression-free survival (PFS) for either arm in both trials. Predefined analyses of refined immune cell subsets for which a biologic function had been previously reported also showed no significant prognostic value in PFS for patients receiving either docetaxel or radionuclide alone; however, in patients receiving these agents in combination with vaccine, the peripheral immunoscore of refined subsets revealed statistically significant differences in PFS (P < 0.001) for breast cancer patients receiving docetaxel plus vaccine, and in prostate cancer patients receiving radionuclide plus vaccine (P = 0.004). Larger randomized studies will be required to validate these findings. These studies, however, provide the rationale for the evaluation of refined immune cell subsets to help determine which patients may benefit most from immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC5138028  PMID: 27485137
cancer vaccine; peripheral immunoscore; immune cell subsets; immunotherapy; combination therapies
2.  Resources Required for Semi-Automatic Volumetric Measurements in Metastatic Chordoma: Is Potentially Improved Tumor Burden Assessment Worth the Time Burden? 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2015;29(3):357-364.
The Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) is the current standard for assessing therapy response in patients with malignant solid tumors; however, volumetric assessments are thought to be more representative of actual tumor size and hence superior in predicting patient outcomes. We segmented all primary and metastatic lesions in 21 chordoma patients for comparison to RECIST. Primary tumors were segmented on MR and validated by a neuroradiologist. Metastatic lesions were segmented on CT and validated by a general radiologist. We estimated times for a research assistant to segment all primary and metastatic chordoma lesions using semi-automated volumetric segmentation tools available within our PACS (v12.0, Carestream, Rochester, NY), as well as time required for radiologists to validate the segmentations. We also report success rates of semi-automatic segmentation in metastatic lesions on CT and time required to export data. Furthermore, we discuss the feasibility of volumetric segmentation workflow in research and clinical settings. The research assistant spent approximately 65 h segmenting 435 lesions in 21 patients. This resulted in 1349 total segmentations (average 2.89 min per lesion) and over 13,000 data points. Combined time for the neuroradiologist and general radiologist to validate segmentations was 45.7 min per patient. Exportation time for all patients totaled only 6 h, providing time-saving opportunities for data managers and oncologists. Perhaps cost-neutral resource reallocation can help acquire volumes paralleling our example workflow. Our results will provide researchers with benchmark resources required for volumetric assessments within PACS and help prepare institutions for future volumetric assessment criteria.
PMCID: PMC4879033  PMID: 26596767
Radiology workflow; Segmentation; Clinical oncology; Efficiency; PACS
3.  Nivolumab, anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibody immunotherapy: Role in advanced cancers 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2016;12(9):2219-2231.
The development of immune checkpoint inhibitors has altered the landscape of treatment of advanced cancers. These drugs are well tolerated and have shown clinical activity against a wide variety of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. The durability of response is particularly impressive when compared to other forms of systemic therapy. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is an IgG4 antibody that causes immune checkpoint blockade by diminishing inhibitory signaling through the programmed death receptor-1 pathway. It is approved for treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and renal cell carcinoma. Efforts to identify biomarkers of response to nivolumab are ongoing. Clinical trials are also being conducted to determine the benefits of combining nivolumab with other forms of treatment including chemotherapy, molecular-targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and other forms of immune therapy. This review outlines the clinical trials that have led to the emergence of nivolumab as a treatment option for patients with advanced cancers.
PMCID: PMC5027703  PMID: 27135835
immunotherapy; immune checkpoint inhibitors; melanoma; nivolumab; non-small cell lung cancer; renal cell carcinoma
4.  Analyses of the peripheral immunome following multiple administrations of avelumab, a human IgG1 anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody 
Multiple anti-PD-L1/PD-1 checkpoint monoclonal antibodies (MAb) have shown clear evidence of clinical benefit. All except one have been designed or engineered to omit the possibility to mediate antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) as a second potential mode of anti-tumor activity; the reason for this is the concern of lysis of PD-L1 positive immune cells. Avelumab is a fully human IgG1 MAb which has been shown in prior in vitro studies to mediate ADCC versus a range of human tumor cells, and clinical studies have demonstrated anti-tumor activity versus a range of human cancers. This study was designed to investigate the effect on immune cell subsets in the peripheral blood of cancer patients prior to and following multiple administrations of avelumab.
One hundred twenty-three distinct immune cell subsets in the peripheral blood of cancer patients (n = 28) in a phase I trial were analyzed by flow cytometry prior to and following one, three, and nine cycles of avelumab. Changes in soluble (s) CD27 and sCD40L in plasma were also evaluated. In vitro studies were also performed to determine if avelumab would mediate ADCC of PBMC.
No statistically significant changes in any of the 123 immune cell subsets analyzed were observed at any dose level, or number of doses, of avelumab. Increases in the ratio of sCD27:sCD40L were observed, suggesting potential immune activation. Controlled in vitro studies also showed lysis of tumor cells by avelumab versus no lysis of PBMC from five donors.
These studies demonstrate the lack of any significant effect on multiple immune cell subsets, even those expressing PD-L1, following multiple cycles of avelumab. These results complement prior studies showing anti-tumor effects of avelumab and comparable levels of adverse events with avelumab versus other anti-PD-1/PD-L1 MAbs. These studies provide the rationale to further exploit the potential ADCC mechanism of action of avelumab as well as other human IgG1 checkpoint inhibitors.
Trial registration identifier: NCT01772004 (first received: 1/14/13; start date: January 2013) and NCT00001846 (first received date: 11/3/99; start date: August 1999).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40425-017-0220-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5320726
Avelumab; Anti-PD-L1; Checkpoint inhibitor; Immunotherapy; Peripheral immunome; Immune subsets; ADCC; Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity
5.  31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016): part one 
Lundqvist, Andreas | van Hoef, Vincent | Zhang, Xiaonan | Wennerberg, Erik | Lorent, Julie | Witt, Kristina | Sanz, Laia Masvidal | Liang, Shuo | Murray, Shannon | Larsson, Ola | Kiessling, Rolf | Mao, Yumeng | Sidhom, John-William | Bessell, Catherine A. | Havel, Jonathan | Schneck, Jonathan | Chan, Timothy A. | Sachsenmeier, Eliot | Woods, David | Berglund, Anders | Ramakrishnan, Rupal | Sodre, Andressa | Weber, Jeffrey | Zappasodi, Roberta | Li, Yanyun | Qi, Jingjing | Wong, Philip | Sirard, Cynthia | Postow, Michael | Newman, Walter | Koon, Henry | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Callahan, Margaret K. | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Merghoub, Taha | Lum, Lawrence G. | Choi, Minsig | Thakur, Archana | Deol, Abhinav | Dyson, Gregory | Shields, Anthony | Haymaker, Cara | Uemura, Marc | Murthy, Ravi | James, Marihella | Wang, Daqing | Brevard, Julie | Monaghan, Catherine | Swann, Suzanne | Geib, James | Cornfeld, Mark | Chunduru, Srinivas | Agrawal, Sudhir | Yee, Cassian | Wargo, Jennifer | Patel, Sapna P. | Amaria, Rodabe | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Woodman, Scott | Hwu, Wen-Jen | Davies, Michael A. | Hwu, Patrick | Overwijk, Willem W. | Bernatchez, Chantale | Diab, Adi | Massarelli, Erminia | Segal, Neil H. | Ribrag, Vincent | Melero, Ignacio | Gangadhar, Tara C. | Urba, Walter | Schadendorf, Dirk | Ferris, Robert L. | Houot, Roch | Morschhauser, Franck | Logan, Theodore | Luke, Jason J. | Sharfman, William | Barlesi, Fabrice | Ott, Patrick A. | Mansi, Laura | Kummar, Shivaani | Salles, Gilles | Carpio, Cecilia | Meier, Roland | Krishnan, Suba | McDonald, Dan | Maurer, Matthew | Gu, Xuemin | Neely, Jaclyn | Suryawanshi, Satyendra | Levy, Ronald | Khushalani, Nikhil | Wu, Jennifer | Zhang, Jinyu | Basher, Fahmin | Rubinstein, Mark | Bucsek, Mark | Qiao, Guanxi | MacDonald, Cameron | Hylander, Bonnie | Repasky, Elizabeth | Chatterjee, Shilpak | Daenthanasanmak, Anusara | Chakraborty, Paramita | Toth, Kyle | Meek, Megan | Garrett-Mayer, Elizabeth | Nishimura, Michael | Paulos, Chrystal | Beeson, Craig | Yu, Xuezhong | Mehrotra, Shikhar | Zhao, Fei | Evans, Kathy | Xiao, Christine | Holtzhausen, Alisha | Hanks, Brent A. | Scharping, Nicole | Menk, Ashley V. | Moreci, Rebecca | Whetstone, Ryan | Dadey, Rebekah | Watkins, Simon | Ferris, Robert | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Peled, Jonathan | Devlin, Sean | Staffas, Anna | Lumish, Melissa | Rodriguez, Kori Porosnicu | Ahr, Katya | Perales, Miguel | Giralt, Sergio | Taur, Ying | Pamer, Eric | van den Brink, Marcel R. M. | Jenq, Robert | Annels, Nicola | Pandha, Hardev | Simpson, Guy | Mostafid, Hugh | Harrington, Kevin | Melcher, Alan | Grose, Mark | Davies, Bronwyn | Au, Gough | Karpathy, Roberta | Shafren, Darren | Ricca, Jacob | Merghoub, Taha | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Zamarin, Dmitriy | Batista, Luciana | Marliot, Florence | Vasaturo, Angela | Carpentier, Sabrina | Poggionovo, Cécile | Frayssinet, Véronique | Fieschi, Jacques | Van den Eynde, Marc | Pagès, Franck | Galon, Jérôme | Hermitte, Fabienne | Smith, Sean G. | Nguyen, Khue | Ravindranathan, Sruthi | Koppolu, Bhanu | Zaharoff, David | Schvartsman, Gustavo | Bassett, Roland | McQuade, Jennifer L. | Haydu, Lauren E. | Davies, Michael A. | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Kline, Douglas | Chen, Xiufen | Fosco, Dominick | Kline, Justin | Overacre, Abigail | Chikina, Maria | Brunazzi, Erin | Shayan, Gulidanna | Horne, William | Kolls, Jay | Ferris, Robert L. | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Bruno, Tullia C. | Workman, Creg | Vignali, Dario | Adusumilli, Prasad S. | Ansa-Addo, Ephraim A | Li, Zihai | Gerry, Andrew | Sanderson, Joseph P. | Howe, Karen | Docta, Roslin | Gao, Qian | Bagg, Eleanor A. L. | Tribble, Nicholas | Maroto, Miguel | Betts, Gareth | Bath, Natalie | Melchiori, Luca | Lowther, Daniel E. | Ramachandran, Indu | Kari, Gabor | Basu, Samik | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Chagin, Karen | Pandite, Lini | Holdich, Tom | Amado, Rafael | Zhang, Hua | Glod, John | Bernstein, Donna | Jakobsen, Bent | Mackall, Crystal | Wong, Ryan | Silk, Jonathan D. | Adams, Katherine | Hamilton, Garth | Bennett, Alan D. | Brett, Sara | Jing, Junping | Quattrini, Adriano | Saini, Manoj | Wiedermann, Guy | Gerry, Andrew | Jakobsen, Bent | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Brewer, Joanna | Duong, MyLinh | Lu, An | Chang, Peter | Mahendravada, Aruna | Shinners, Nicholas | Slawin, Kevin | Spencer, David M. | Foster, Aaron E. | Bayle, J. Henri | Bergamaschi, Cristina | Ng, Sinnie Sin Man | Nagy, Bethany | Jensen, Shawn | Hu, Xintao | Alicea, Candido | Fox, Bernard | Felber, Barbara | Pavlakis, George | Chacon, Jessica | Yamamoto, Tori | Garrabrant, Thomas | Cortina, Luis | Powell, Daniel J. | Donia, Marco | Kjeldsen, Julie Westerlin | Andersen, Rikke | Westergaard, Marie Christine Wulff | Bianchi, Valentina | Legut, Mateusz | Attaf, Meriem | Dolton, Garry | Szomolay, Barbara | Ott, Sascha | Lyngaa, Rikke | Hadrup, Sine Reker | Sewell, Andrew Kelvin | Svane, Inge Marie | Fan, Aaron | Kumai, Takumi | Celis, Esteban | Frank, Ian | Stramer, Amanda | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wardell, Seth | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Goff, Stephanie L. | Zacharakis, Nikolaos | Assadipour, Yasmine | Prickett, Todd D. | Gartner, Jared J. | Somerville, Robert | Black, Mary | Xu, Hui | Chinnasamy, Harshini | Kriley, Isaac | Lu, Lily | Wunderlich, John | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven | Feldman, Steven A. | Trebska-McGowan, Kasia | Kriley, Isaac | Malekzadeh, Parisa | Payabyab, Eden | Sherry, Richard | Rosenberg, Steven | Goff, Stephanie L. | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Kopits, Charlene | Rabinovich, Brian | Lotze, Michael T. | Green, Daniel S. | Kamenyeva, Olena | Zoon, Kathryn C. | Annunziata, Christina M. | Hammill, Joanne | Helsen, Christopher | Aarts, Craig | Bramson, Jonathan | Harada, Yui | Yonemitsu, Yoshikazu | Helsen, Christopher | Hammill, Joanne | Mwawasi, Kenneth | Denisova, Galina | Bramson, Jonathan | Giri, Rajanish | Jin, Benjamin | Campbell, Tracy | Draper, Lindsey M. | Stevanovic, Sanja | Yu, Zhiya | Weissbrich, Bianca | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Trimble, Cornelia L. | Rosenberg, Steven | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Tsang, Kwong | Fantini, Massimo | Hodge, James W. | Fujii, Rika | Fernando, Ingrid | Jochems, Caroline | Heery, Christopher | Gulley, James | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Schlom, Jeffrey | Jing, Weiqing | Gershan, Jill | Blitzer, Grace | Weber, James | McOlash, Laura | Johnson, Bryon D. | Kiany, Simin | Gangxiong, Huang | Kleinerman, Eugenie S. | Klichinsky, Michael | Ruella, Marco | Shestova, Olga | Kenderian, Saad | Kim, Miriam | Scholler, John | June, Carl H. | Gill, Saar | Moogk, Duane | Zhong, Shi | Yu, Zhiya | Liadi, Ivan | Rittase, William | Fang, Victoria | Dougherty, Janna | Perez-Garcia, Arianne | Osman, Iman | Zhu, Cheng | Varadarajan, Navin | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Frey, Alan | Krogsgaard, Michelle | Landi, Daniel | Fousek, Kristen | Mukherjee, Malini | Shree, Ankita | Joseph, Sujith | Bielamowicz, Kevin | Byrd, Tiara | Ahmed, Nabil | Hegde, Meenakshi | Lee, Sylvia | Byrd, David | Thompson, John | Bhatia, Shailender | Tykodi, Scott | Delismon, Judy | Chu, Liz | Abdul-Alim, Siddiq | Ohanian, Arpy | DeVito, Anna Marie | Riddell, Stanley | Margolin, Kim | Magalhaes, Isabelle | Mattsson, Jonas | Uhlin, Michael | Nemoto, Satoshi | Villarroel, Patricio Pérez | Nakagawa, Ryosuke | Mule, James J. | Mailloux, Adam W. | Mata, Melinda | Nguyen, Phuong | Gerken, Claudia | DeRenzo, Christopher | Spencer, David M. | Gottschalk, Stephen | Mathieu, Mélissa | Pelletier, Sandy | Stagg, John | Turcotte, Simon | Minutolo, Nicholas | Sharma, Prannda | Tsourkas, Andrew | Powell, Daniel J. | Mockel-Tenbrinck, Nadine | Mauer, Daniela | Drechsel, Katharina | Barth, Carola | Freese, Katharina | Kolrep, Ulrike | Schult, Silke | Assenmacher, Mario | Kaiser, Andrew | Mullinax, John | Hall, MacLean | Le, Julie | Kodumudi, Krithika | Royster, Erica | Richards, Allison | Gonzalez, Ricardo | Sarnaik, Amod | Pilon-Thomas, Shari | Nielsen, Morten | Krarup-Hansen, Anders | Hovgaard, Dorrit | Petersen, Michael Mørk | Loya, Anand Chainsukh | Junker, Niels | Svane, Inge Marie | Rivas, Charlotte | Parihar, Robin | Gottschalk, Stephen | Rooney, Cliona M. | Qin, Haiying | Nguyen, Sang | Su, Paul | Burk, Chad | Duncan, Brynn | Kim, Bong-Hyun | Kohler, M. Eric | Fry, Terry | Rao, Arjun A. | Teyssier, Noam | Pfeil, Jacob | Sgourakis, Nikolaos | Salama, Sofie | Haussler, David | Richman, Sarah A. | Nunez-Cruz, Selene | Gershenson, Zack | Mourelatos, Zissimos | Barrett, David | Grupp, Stephan | Milone, Michael | Rodriguez-Garcia, Alba | Robinson, Matthew K. | Adams, Gregory P. | Powell, Daniel J. | Santos, João | Havunen, Riikka | Siurala, Mikko | Cervera-Carrascón, Víctor | Parviainen, Suvi | Antilla, Marjukka | Hemminki, Akseli | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Santiago, Laurelis | Chen, Jie Qing | Dai, Zhimin | Wardell, Seth | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Sha, Huizi | Su, Shu | Ding, Naiqing | Liu, Baorui | Stevanovic, Sanja | Pasetto, Anna | Helman, Sarah R. | Gartner, Jared J. | Prickett, Todd D. | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Bhatia, Shailender | Burgess, Melissa | Zhang, Hui | Lee, Tien | Klingemann, Hans | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Nghiem, Paul | Kirkwood, John M. | Rossi, John M. | Sherman, Marika | Xue, Allen | Shen, Yueh-wei | Navale, Lynn | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Kochenderfer, James N. | Bot, Adrian | Veerapathran, Anandaraman | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Stramer, Amanda | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wiener, Doris | Frank, Ian | Santiago, Laurelis | Rabinovich, Brian | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Waller, Edmund K. | Li, Jian-Ming | Petersen, Christopher | Blazar, Bruce R. | Li, Jingxia | Giver, Cynthia R. | Wang, Ziming | Grossenbacher, Steven K. | Sturgill, Ian | Canter, Robert J. | Murphy, William J. | Zhang, Congcong | Burger, Michael C. | Jennewein, Lukas | Waldmann, Anja | Mittelbronn, Michel | Tonn, Torsten | Steinbach, Joachim P. | Wels, Winfried S. | Williams, Jason B. | Zha, Yuanyuan | Gajewski, Thomas F. | Williams, LaTerrica C. | Krenciute, Giedre | Kalra, Mamta | Louis, Chrystal | Gottschalk, Stephen | Xin, Gang | Schauder, David | Jiang, Aimin | Joshi, Nikhil | Cui, Weiguo | Zeng, Xue | Menk, Ashley V. | Scharping, Nicole | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Zhao, Zeguo | Hamieh, Mohamad | Eyquem, Justin | Gunset, Gertrude | Bander, Neil | Sadelain, Michel | Askmyr, David | Abolhalaj, Milad | Lundberg, Kristina | Greiff, Lennart | Lindstedt, Malin | Angell, Helen K. | Kim, Kyoung-Mee | Kim, Seung-Tae | Kim, Sung | Sharpe, Alan D. | Ogden, Julia | Davenport, Anna | Hodgson, Darren R. | Barrett, Carl | Lee, Jeeyun | Kilgour, Elaine | Hanson, Jodi | Caspell, Richard | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ansari, Tameem | Schiller, Annemarie | Sundararaman, Srividya | Lehmann, Paul | Hanson, Jodi | Roen, Diana | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ayers, Mark | Levitan, Diane | Arreaza, Gladys | Liu, Fang | Mogg, Robin | Bang, Yung-Jue | O’Neil, Bert | Cristescu, Razvan | Friedlander, Philip | Wassman, Karl | Kyi, Chrisann | Oh, William | Bhardwaj, Nina | Bornschlegl, Svetlana | Gustafson, Michael P. | Gastineau, Dennis A. | Parney, Ian F. | Dietz, Allan B. | Carvajal-Hausdorf, Daniel | Mani, Nikita | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Schalper, Kurt | Rimm, David | Chang, Serena | Levy, Ronald | Kurland, John | Krishnan, Suba | Ahlers, Christoph Matthias | Jure-Kunkel, Maria | Cohen, Lewis | Maecker, Holden | Kohrt, Holbrook | Chen, Shuming | Crabill, George | Pritchard, Theresa | McMiller, Tracee | Pardoll, Drew | Pan, Fan | Topalian, Suzanne | Danaher, Patrick | Warren, Sarah | Dennis, Lucas | White, Andrew M. | D’Amico, Leonard | Geller, Melissa | Disis, Mary L. | Beechem, Joseph | Odunsi, Kunle | Fling, Steven | Derakhshandeh, Roshanak | Webb, Tonya J. | Dubois, Sigrid | Conlon, Kevin | Bryant, Bonita | Hsu, Jennifer | Beltran, Nancy | Müller, Jürgen | Waldmann, Thomas | Duhen, Rebekka | Duhen, Thomas | Thompson, Lucas | Montler, Ryan | Weinberg, Andrew | Kates, Max | Early, Brandon | Yusko, Erik | Schreiber, Taylor H. | Bivalacqua, Trinity J. | Ayers, Mark | Lunceford, Jared | Nebozhyn, Michael | Murphy, Erin | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Albright, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Kang, S. Peter | Shankaran, Veena | Piha-Paul, Sarina A. | Yearley, Jennifer | Seiwert, Tanguy | Ribas, Antoni | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Cristescu, Razvan | Mogg, Robin | Ayers, Mark | Albright, Andrew | Murphy, Erin | Yearley, Jennifer | Sher, Xinwei | Liu, Xiao Qiao | Nebozhyn, Michael | Lunceford, Jared | Joe, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Plimack, Elizabeth | Ott, Patrick A. | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Forrest-Hay, Alex | Guyre, Cheryl A. | Narumiya, Kohei | Delcommenne, Marc | Hirsch, Heather A. | Deshpande, Amit | Reeves, Jason | Shu, Jenny | Zi, Tong | Michaelson, Jennifer | Law, Debbie | Trehu, Elizabeth | Sathyanaryanan, Sriram | Hodkinson, Brendan P. | Hutnick, Natalie A. | Schaffer, Michael E. | Gormley, Michael | Hulett, Tyler | Jensen, Shawn | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Dubay, Christopher | Afentoulis, Michael | Reddy, Ashok | David, Larry | Fox, Bernard | Jayant, Kumar | Agrawal, Swati | Agrawal, Rajendra | Jeyakumar, Ghayathri | Kim, Seongho | Kim, Heejin | Silski, Cynthia | Suisham, Stacey | Heath, Elisabeth | Vaishampayan, Ulka | Vandeven, Natalie | Viller, Natasja Nielsen | O’Connor, Alison | Chen, Hui | Bossen, Bolette | Sievers, Eric | Uger, Robert | Nghiem, Paul | Johnson, Lisa | Kao, Hsiang-Fong | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Lai, Shu-Chuan | Wang, Chun-Wei | Ko, Jenq-Yuh | Lou, Pei-Jen | Lee, Tsai-Jan | Liu, Tsang-Wu | Hong, Ruey-Long | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Landis, Benjamin J. | Koegler, Sally | Hirsch, Brooke | Gianani, Roberto | Kim, Jeffrey | He, Ming-Xiao | Zhang, Bingqing | Su, Nan | Luo, Yuling | Ma, Xiao-Jun | Park, Emily | Kim, Dae Won | Copploa, Domenico | Kothari, Nishi | doo Chang, Young | Kim, Richard | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Knaus, Hanna A. | Berglund, Sofia | Hackl, Hubert | Karp, Judith E. | Gojo, Ivana | Luznik, Leo | Hong, Henoch S. | Koch, Sven D. | Scheel, Birgit | Gnad-Vogt, Ulrike | Kallen, Karl-Josef | Wiegand, Volker | Backert, Linus | Kohlbacher, Oliver | Hoerr, Ingmar | Fotin-Mleczek, Mariola | Billingsley, James M. | Koguchi, Yoshinobu | Conrad, Valerie | Miller, William | Gonzalez, Iliana | Poplonski, Tomasz | Meeuwsen, Tanisha | Howells-Ferreira, Ana | Rattray, Rogan | Campbell, Mary | Bifulco, Carlo | Dubay, Christopher | Bahjat, Keith | Curti, Brendan | Urba, Walter | Vetsika, E-K | Kallergi, G. | Aggouraki, Despoina | Lyristi, Z. | Katsarlinos, P. | Koinis, Filippos | Georgoulias, V. | Kotsakis, Athanasios | Martin, Nathan T. | Aeffner, Famke | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Cerkovnik, Logan | Pratte, Luke | Kim, Rebecca | Hirsch, Brooke | Krueger, Joseph | Gianani, Roberto | Martínez-Usatorre, Amaia | Jandus, Camilla | Donda, Alena | Carretero-Iglesia, Laura | Speiser, Daniel E. | Zehn, Dietmar | Rufer, Nathalie | Romero, Pedro | Panda, Anshuman | Mehnert, Janice | Hirshfield, Kim M. | Riedlinger, Greg | Damare, Sherri | Saunders, Tracie | Sokol, Levi | Stein, Mark | Poplin, Elizabeth | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Silk, Ann | Chan, Nancy | Frankel, Melissa | Kane, Michael | Malhotra, Jyoti | Aisner, Joseph | Kaufman, Howard L. | Ali, Siraj | Ross, Jeffrey | White, Eileen | Bhanot, Gyan | Ganesan, Shridar | Monette, Anne | Bergeron, Derek | Amor, Amira Ben | Meunier, Liliane | Caron, Christine | Morou, Antigoni | Kaufmann, Daniel | Liberman, Moishe | Jurisica, Igor | Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie | Hamzaoui, Kamel | Lapointe, Rejean | Mongan, Ann | Ku, Yuan-Chieh | Tom, Warren | Sun, Yongming | Pankov, Alex | Looney, Tim | Au-Young, Janice | Hyland, Fiona | Conroy, Jeff | Morrison, Carl | Glenn, Sean | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Gardner, Mark | Mongan, Ann | Omilian, Angela R. | Conroy, Jeff | Bshara, Wiam | Angela, Omilian | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Glenn, Sean | Morrison, Carl | Mongan, Ann | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Smolkin, Mark E. | Deacon, Donna H. | Patterson, James W. | Chen, Lieping | Bullock, Timothy N. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Deacon, Donna H. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Bullock, Timothy N. | Loffredo, John T. | Vuyyuru, Raja | Beyer, Sophie | Spires, Vanessa M. | Fox, Maxine | Ehrmann, Jon M. | Taylor, Katrina A. | Korman, Alan J. | Graziano, Robert F. | Page, David | Sanchez, Katherine | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Martel, Maritza | Bifulco, Carlo | Urba, Walter | Fox, Bernard | Patel, Sapna P. | De Macedo, Mariana Petaccia | Qin, Yong | Reuben, Alex | Spencer, Christine | Guindani, Michele | Bassett, Roland | Wargo, Jennifer | Racolta, Adriana | Kelly, Brian | Jones, Tobin | Polaske, Nathan | Theiss, Noah | Robida, Mark | Meridew, Jeffrey | Habensus, Iva | Zhang, Liping | Pestic-Dragovich, Lidija | Tang, Lei | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Logan, Theodore | Khushalani, Nikhil | Margolin, Kim | Koon, Henry | Olencki, Thomas | Hutson, Thomas | Curti, Brendan | Roder, Joanna | Blackmon, Shauna | Roder, Heinrich | Stewart, John | Amin, Asim | Ernstoff, Marc S. | Clark, Joseph I. | Atkins, Michael B. | Kaufman, Howard L. | Sosman, Jeffrey | Weber, Jeffrey | McDermott, David F. | Weber, Jeffrey | Kluger, Harriet | Halaban, Ruth | Snzol, Mario | Roder, Heinrich | Roder, Joanna | Asmellash, Senait | Steingrimsson, Arni | Blackmon, Shauna | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Wang, Chichung | Roman, Kristin | Clement, Amanda | Downing, Sean | Hoyt, Clifford | Harder, Nathalie | Schmidt, Guenter | Schoenmeyer, Ralf | Brieu, Nicolas | Yigitsoy, Mehmet | Madonna, Gabriele | Botti, Gerardo | Grimaldi, Antonio | Ascierto, Paolo A. | Huss, Ralf | Athelogou, Maria | Hessel, Harald | Harder, Nathalie | Buchner, Alexander | Schmidt, Guenter | Stief, Christian | Huss, Ralf | Binnig, Gerd | Kirchner, Thomas | Sellappan, Shankar | Thyparambil, Sheeno | Schwartz, Sarit | Cecchi, Fabiola | Nguyen, Andrew | Vaske, Charles | Hembrough, Todd
Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer  2016;4(Suppl 1):1-106.
PMCID: PMC5123387
6.  Phase I trial of a yeast-based therapeutic cancer vaccine (GI-6301) targeting the transcription factor brachyury 
Cancer immunology research  2015;3(11):1248-1256.
The nuclear transcription factor brachyury has previously been shown to be a strong mediator of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human carcinoma cells and a strong negative prognostic factor in several tumor types. Brachyury is overexpressed in a range of human carcinoma as well as in chordoma, a rare tumor for which there is no standard systemic therapy. Preclinical studies have shown a recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) vaccine encoding brachyury (GI-6301) can activate human T cells in vitro. A Phase I dose escalation (3+3 design) trial enrolled 34 patients at 4 dose levels (3, 3, 16, and 11 patients, respectively, at 4, 16, 40, and 80 yeast units (YU)). Expansion cohorts were enrolled at 40 and 80 YU dose levels for analysis of immune response and clinical activity. We observed brachyury-specific T-cell immune responses in the majority of evaluable patients despite most having been heavily pretreated. No evidence of autoimmunity or other serious adverse events were observed. Two chordoma patients showed evidence of disease control (one mixed response and one partial response). A patient with colorectal carcinoma, who enrolled on study with a large progressing pelvic mass and rising CEA, remains on study for greater than 1 year with stable disease, evidence of decreased tumor density and decreased serum CEA. This study is the first-in-human to demonstrate the safety and immunogenicity of this therapeutic cancer vaccine and provides rationale for exploration in Phase II studies. A randomized Phase II chordoma study is enrolling.
PMCID: PMC4636967  PMID: 26130065
Chordoma; Immunotherapy; Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT); Tarmogen; Therapeutic vaccine
7.  Samarium-153-EDTMP (Quadramet®) with or without vaccine in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: A randomized Phase 2 trial 
Oncotarget  2016;7(42):69014-69023.
PSA-TRICOM is a therapeutic vaccine in late stage clinical testing in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Samarium-153-ethylene diamine tetramethylene phosphonate (Sm-153-EDTMP; Quadramet®), a radiopharmaceutical, binds osteoblastic bone lesions and emits beta particles causing local tumor cell destruction. Preclinically, Sm-153-EDTMP alters tumor cell phenotype facilitating immune-mediated killing. This phase 2 multi-center trial randomized patients to Sm-153-EDTMP alone or with PSA-TRICOM vaccine. Eligibility required mCRPC, bone metastases, prior docetaxel and no visceral disease. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients without radiographic disease progression at 4 months. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and immune responses. Forty-four patients enrolled. Eighteen and 21 patients were evaluable for the primary endpoint in Sm-153-EDTMP alone and combination arms, respectively. There was no statistical difference in the primary endpoint, with two of 18 (11.1%) and five of 21 (23.8%) in Sm-153-EDTMP alone and combination arms, respectively, having stable disease at approximately the 4-month evaluation time point (P = 0.27). Median PFS was 1.7 vs. 3.7 months in the Sm-153-EDTMP alone and combination arms (P = 0.041, HR = 0.51, P = 0.046). No patient in the Sm-153-EDTMP alone arm achieved prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decline > 30% compared with four patients (of 21) in the combination arm, including three with PSA decline > 50%. Toxicities were similar between arms and related to number of Sm-153-EDTMP doses administered. These results provide the rationale for clinical evaluation of new radiopharmaceuticals, such as Ra-223, in combination with PSA-TRICOM.
PMCID: PMC5340090  PMID: 27486817
therapeutic vaccine; radionuclide; prostate cancer; Quadramet®; cancer immunotherapy
Brachyury is a transcription factor of the T-box family typically expressed in notochord and chordoma. Some studies report brachyury as highly specific for chordoma, whereas others have concluded that brachyury is expressed in many types of common carcinomas by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry and could be involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastatic process. In this study, we immunohistochemically evaluated 5229 different tumors for nuclear brachyury expression using a new rabbit monoclonal antibody and automated immunostaining (Leica Bond Max). Only nuclear labeling was scored, and antibody dilution of 1:2000 was used. In normal tissues, only rare cells in seminiferous tubules were labeled; all other organs were negative. All chordomas (75/76), except a sarcomatous one, were positive, whereas chondrosarcomas were negative. Among epithelial tumors, positivity was often detected in embryonal carcinoma (74%) and seminoma (45%). Pulmonary small cell carcinoma was often positive (41%), whereas pulmonary and pancreatic adenocarcinomas only rarely showed nuclear brachyury-positivity (3–4%). Common carcinomas such as ductal carcinomas of breast, or adenocarcinomas of the prostate only exceptionally showed nuclear positivity (< 1%). No colorectal, hepatocellular, renal cell, squamous cell, thyroid or urothelial carcinoma, or mesothelioma showed nuclear brachyury-positivity. Among mesenchymal and neuroectodermal tumors, only isolated cases of melanoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, and follicular lymphoma showed nuclear expression. However, as shown previously with lung carcinoma, experiments with lower antibody dilutions (1:200–1:500) showed weak cytoplasmic and nuclear labeling in breast cancers. In addition to chordoma, we show here for the first time that nuclear brachyury expression is prevalent in embryonal carcinoma, seminoma, and small cell carcinoma of the lung but very rare in common carcinomas, sarcomas, and melanoma. With these reservations, we have demonstrated the presence of nuclear brachyury immunoreactivity to be a sensitive and fairly specific marker for chordoma.
PMCID: PMC4567944  PMID: 26099010
Brachyury; chordoma; seminoma; germ cell tumor; small cell carcinoma
9.  Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity of a novel anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab (MSB0010718C) on human tumor cells 
Cancer immunology research  2015;3(10):1148-1157.
Several anti-PD1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies (MAb) are currently providing evidence of clinical benefit in subsets of cancer patients. The mode of action of these MAbs is to inhibit PD1 on immune cells interacting with PD-L1 on tumor cells. These MAbs are either designed or engineered to eliminate antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), which, however, has been implicated as an important mechanism in several highly effective MAb-mediated cancer therapies. A fully human anti-PD-L1 MAb would potentially be able to block PD-L1/PD1 interactions and also mediate the ADCC lysis of tumor cells. MSB0010718C (designated avelumab) is a fully human IgG1 anti-PD-L1 MAb. The studies reported here demonstrate (a) the ability of avelumab to lyse a range of human tumor cells in the presence of PBMC or NK effectors; (b) IFNγ can enhance tumor cell PD-L1 expression and in some cases enhance ADCC tumor cell lysis; (c) purified NK cells are potent effectors for avelumab; (d) similar levels of avelumab-mediated ADCC lysis of tumor cells are seen using purified NK as effectors from either healthy donors or cancer patients; (e) very low levels of avelumab-mediated lysis are seen using whole PBMCs as targets; this finding complements results seen in analyses of PBMC subsets of patients receiving avelumab; and (f) the addition of IL12 to NK cells greatly enhances avelumab-mediated ADCC. These studies thus provide an additional mode of action for an anti-PD-L1 MAb and support the rationale for further studies to enhance avelumab-mediated ADCC activity.
PMCID: PMC4739754  PMID: 26014098
checkpoint inhibitor; anti-PD-L1; antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity
10.  Predicting clinical outcomes in chordoma patients receiving immunotherapy: a comparison between volumetric segmentation and RECIST 
BMC Cancer  2016;16(1):672.
The Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) are the current standard for evaluating disease progression or therapy response in patients with solid tumors. RECIST 1.1 calls for axial, longest-diameter (or perpendicular short axis of lymph nodes) measurements of a maximum of five tumors, which limits clinicians’ ability to adequately measure disease burden, especially in patients with irregularly shaped tumors. This is especially problematic in chordoma, a disease for which RECIST does not always adequately capture disease burden because chordoma tumors are typically irregularly shaped and slow-growing. Furthermore, primary chordoma tumors tend to be adjacent to vital structures in the skull or sacrum that, when compressed, lead to significant clinical consequences.
Volumetric segmentation is a newer technology that allows tumor burden to be measured in three dimensions on either MR or CT. Here, we compared the ability of RECIST measurements and tumor volumes to predict clinical outcomes in a cohort of 21 chordoma patients receiving immunotherapy.
There was a significant difference in radiologic time to progression Kaplan-Meier curves between clinical outcome groups using volumetric segmentation (P = 0.012) but not RECIST (P = 0.38). In several cases, changes in volume were earlier and more sensitive reflections of clinical status.
RECIST is a useful evaluation method when obvious changes are occurring in patients with chordoma. However, in many cases, RECIST does not detect small changes, and volumetric assessment was capable of detecting changes and predicting clinical outcome earlier than RECIST. Although this study was small and retrospective, we believe our results warrant further research in this area.
PMCID: PMC4995658  PMID: 27553491
Chordoma; Volumetric; RECIST; Radiologic; Response criteria
11.  The IDO1 selective inhibitor epacadostat enhances dendritic cell immunogenicity and lytic ability of tumor antigen-specific T cells 
Oncotarget  2016;7(25):37762-37772.
Epacadostat is a novel inhibitor of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) that suppresses systemic tryptophan catabolism and is currently being evaluated in ongoing clinical trials. We investigated the effects of epacadostat on (a) human dendritic cells (DCs) with respect to maturation and ability to activate human tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) lines, and subsequent T-cell lysis of tumor cells, (b) human regulatory T cells (Tregs), and (c) human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in vitro. Simultaneous treatment with epacadostat and IFN-γ plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) did not change the phenotype of matured human DCs, and as expected decreased the tryptophan breakdown and kynurenine production. Peptide-specific T-cell lines stimulated with DCs pulsed with peptide produced significantly more IFN-γ, TNFα, GM-CSF and IL-8 if the DCs were treated with epacadostat. These T cells also displayed higher levels of tumor cell lysis on a per cell basis. Epacadostat also significantly decreased Treg proliferation induced by IDO production from IFN-γ plus LPS matured human DCs, although the Treg phenotype did not change. Multicolor flow cytometry was performed on human PBMCs treated with epacadostat; analysis of 123 discrete immune cell subsets revealed no changes in major immune cell types, an increase in activated CD83+ conventional DCs, and a decrease in immature activated Tim3+ NK cells. These studies show for the first time several effects of epacadostat on human DCs, and subsequent effects on CTL and Tregs, and provide a rationale as to how epacadostat could potentially increase the efficacy of immunotherapeutics, including cancer vaccines.
PMCID: PMC5122347  PMID: 27192116
IDO inhibitor; dendritic cells; T cells; indoleamine-2; 3-dioxygenase (IDO); Tregs
12.  Enhanced killing of chordoma cells by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity employing the novel anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab 
Oncotarget  2016;7(23):33498-33511.
Chordoma, a rare bone tumor derived from the notochord, has been shown to be resistant to conventional therapies. Checkpoint inhibition has shown great promise in immune-mediated therapy of diverse cancers. The anti-PD-L1 mAb avelumab is unique among checkpoint inhibitors in that it is a fully human IgG1 capable of mediating antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) of PD-L1-expressing tumor cells. Here, we investigated avelumab as a potential therapy for chordoma. We examined 4 chordoma cell lines, first for expression of PD-L1, and in vitro for ADCC killing using NK cells and avelumab. PD-L1 expression was markedly upregulated by IFN-γ in all 4 chordoma cell lines, which significantly increased sensitivity to ADCC. Brachyury is a transcription factor that is uniformly expressed in chordoma. Clinical trials are ongoing in which chordoma patients are treated with brachyury-specific vaccines. Co-incubating chordoma cells with brachyury-specific CD8+ T cells resulted in significant upregulation of PD-L1 on the tumor cells, mediated by the CD8+ T cells' IFN-γ production, and increased sensitivity of chordoma cells to avelumab-mediated ADCC. Residential cancer stem cell subpopulations of chordoma cells were also killed by avelumab-mediated ADCC to the same degree as non-cancer stem cell populations. These findings suggest that as a monotherapy for chordoma, avelumab may enable endogenous NK cells, while in combination with T-cell immunotherapy, such as a vaccine, avelumab may enhance NK-cell killing of chordoma cells via ADCC.
PMCID: PMC5085098  PMID: 27172898
chordoma; programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1); antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC); cancer stem cells; immunotherapy
13.  Erratum to: Chordoma: The Quest for Better Treatment Options 
Oncology and Therapy  2016;4(1):53-55.
PMCID: PMC5315069
14.  Analyses of 123 Peripheral Human Immune Cell Subsets: Defining Differences with Age and between Healthy Donors and Cancer Patients Not Detected in Analysis of Standard Immune Cell Types 
Recent advances in human immunology have led to the identification of novel immune cell subsets and the biological function of many of these subsets has now been identified. The recent US Food and Drug Administration approval of several immunotherapeutics for the treatment of a variety of cancer types and the results of ongoing immunotherapy clinical studies requires a more thorough interrogation of the immune system. We report here the use of flow cytometry-based analyses to identify 123 immune cell subsets of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The use of these panels defines multiple differences in younger (< 40 years) vs. older (≥ 40 years) individuals and between aged-matched apparently healthy individuals and metastatic cancer patients, aspects not seen in the analysis of the following standard immune cell types: CD8, CD4, natural killer, natural killer-T, regulatory T, myeloid derived suppressor cells, conventional dendritic cells (DCs), plasmacytoid DCs and B cells. The use of these panels identifying 123 immune cell subsets may aid in the identification of patients who may benefit from immunotherapy, either prior to therapy or early in the immunotherapeutic regimen, for the treatment of cancer or other chronic or infectious diseases.
PMCID: PMC5548330
Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells; Multicolour Flow Cytometry; Cancer; Age
15.  Chordoma: The Quest for Better Treatment Options 
Oncology and Therapy  2016;4(1):35-51.
Chordoma is an extremely rare cancer, with an incidence of about one case per million persons per year in the USA and Europe (about 300 and 450 cases per year, respectively). The estimated median overall survival of patients with chordoma is approximately 6–7 years, yielding a rough estimate of chordoma prevalence at about 2000 in the USA and 3000 in Europe. Primary tumor develops along the axial spine between the clivus and sacrum and develops from the residual embryonic notochord. Brachyury (T), a transcription factor required for normal embryonic development, is expressed in the notochord and overexpressed in almost all cases of chordoma. The primary treatment for chordoma is surgical excision with wide local margins, when possible. Radiotherapy also plays a significant role in the adjuvant setting and when surgery is not possible. Unfortunately, in the advanced and/or metastatic setting, where the role of surgery and/or radiation is less clear, treatment options are very limited. To date, there have been no randomized, controlled trials in chordoma that have resulted in defined agents of clinical benefit for systemic treatment. This review briefly describes the natural history and initial treatment of chordoma and focuses on treatment options for advanced disease and potential avenues of research that may lead to improved treatment options in the future.
PMCID: PMC5315072
Brachyury; Chordoma; Erlotinib; Imatinib; Immunotherapy; Radiotherapy; Spine tumor; Surgery; Vaccine
20.  The generation and analyses of a novel combination of recombinant adenovirus vaccines targeting three tumor antigens as an immunotherapeutic 
Oncotarget  2015;6(31):31344-31359.
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.
PMCID: PMC4741610  PMID: 26374823
cancer vaccines; adenovirus vaccines; tumor antigens; immunotherapy; brachyury
21.  Detection and Characterization of Circulating Tumour Cells from Frozen Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells 
Retrospective analysis of patient tumour samples is a cornerstone of clinical research. CTC biomarker characterization offers a non-invasive method to analyse patient samples. However, current CTC technologies require prospective blood collection, thereby reducing the ability to utilize archived clinical cohorts with long-term outcome data. We sought to investigate CTC recovery from frozen, archived patient PBMC pellets. Matched samples from both mCRPC patients and mock samples, which were prepared by spiking healthy donor blood with cultured prostate cancer cell line cells, were processed “fresh” via Epic CTC Platform or from “frozen” PBMC pellets. Samples were analysed for CTC enumeration and biomarker characterization via immunofluorescent (IF) biomarkers, fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and CTC morphology. In the frozen patient PMBC samples, the median CTC recovery was 18%, compared to the freshly processed blood. However, abundance and localization of cytokeratin (CK) and androgen receptor (AR) protein, as measured by IF, were largely concordant between the fresh and frozen CTCs. Furthermore, a FISH analysis of PTEN loss showed high concordance in fresh vs. frozen. The observed data indicate that CTC biomarker characterization from frozen archival samples is feasible and representative of prospectively collected samples.
PMCID: PMC5572991
Circulating Tumour Cells; Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells; Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer; Androgen Receptor; Biorepository
22.  Phase I Trial of a recombinant yeast-CEA vaccine (GI-6207) in adults with metastatic CEA-expressing carcinoma 
Yeast-CEA (GI-6207) is a therapeutic cancer vaccine genetically modified to express recombinant CEA protein, using heat-killed yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as a vector. In preclinical studies, yeast-CEA induced a strong immune response to CEA and antitumor responses. Patients received subcutaneous vaccines every 2 weeks for 3 months, then monthly. Patients were enrolled at 3 sequential dose levels: 4, 16, and 40 yeast units (107 yeast particles/unit). Eligible patients were required to have serum CEA > 5 ng/mL or > 20% CEA+ tumor block, ECOG PS 0 to 2, and no history of autoimmunity. Restaging scans were performed at 3 months, then bimonthly. Peripheral blood was collected for analysis of immune response (e.g., by ELISPOT assay). Twenty-five patients with metastatic CEA-expressing carcinomas were enrolled. Median patient age was 52 (range, 39 to 81). A total of 135 vaccines were administered. The vaccine was well tolerated and the most common adverse event was grade 1/2 injection-site reaction. Five patients had stable disease beyond 3 months (range: 3.5-18 months) and each had CEA stabilization while on-study. Some patients showed evidence post-vaccination of increases in antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and CD4+ T lymphocytes and decreases in regulatory T cells. Of note, a patient with medullary thyroid cancer had substantial T-cell responses and a vigorous inflammatory reaction at sites of metastatic disease. Yeast-CEA vaccination had minimal toxicity and induced some antigen-specific T-cell responses and CEA stabilization in a heterogeneous, heavily pretreated patient population. Further studies are required to determine the clinical benefit of yeast-CEA vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3944709  PMID: 24327292
CEA yeast vaccine; immunity; medullary thyroid cancer; ELISPOT; immunotherapy

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