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1.  Superior Efficacy and Safety of a Nonemulsive Variant of the NGcGM3/VSSP Vaccine in Advanced Breast Cancer Patients 
NGcGM3 ganglioside is a tumor-specific antigen expressed in human breast tumors. The NGcGM3/VSSP vaccine, consisting in very small-sized proteoliposomes (VSSP) obtained by the incorporation of NGcGM3 into the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis, has been previously tested in a Phase II trial in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) but emulsified with Montanide ISA 51. An Expanded Access study was carried out in MBC patients aiming to find if a nonemulsive formulation of NGcGM3/VSSP, without Montanide ISA 51, could be more safe and effective. A total of 104 patients were vaccinated with the nonemulsive formulation (900 μg), subcutaneously (SC), or with the emulsive formulation (200 μg), intramuscularly (IM). An intent-to-treat analysis of efficacy was performed with all patients, and 93 patients were split off according to the site of metastases (visceral/nonvisceral). Of note, SC-treated patients exhibited a superior median overall survival (OS) than IM-treated patients (23.6 vs. 8.2 months; log rank P = 0.001). Even though in the subset of patients with nonvisceral metastases SC vaccination duplicated the median OS compared to the alternative option (31.6 vs. 16.5 months), this difference did not reach statistical significance (log rank P = 0.118). Curiously, in patients with visceral metastases, the advantage of the nonemulsive formulation was more apparent (median OS 21.0 vs. 6.2 months; log rank P = 0.005). The vaccine was safe for both formulations.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S32785
PMCID: PMC4760670  PMID: 26917965
breast cancer; NGcGM3/VSSP vaccine; survival
2.  Effect of vaccination with N-glycolyl GM3/VSSP vaccine by subcutaneous injection in patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma 
NeuGc-containing gangliosides have been described in melanoma cells and are an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy because they are minimally or not expressed in normal human tissues. Melanoma patients treated with a vaccine based on N-glycolyl gangliosides have shown benefit in progression free survival and overall survival. We conducted a multicenter Phase I/II clinical trial in patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma treated with the N-gycolyl GM3/very-small-size proteoliposomes vaccine by the subcutaneous route. Selecting the optimal biological dose of the vaccine was the principal objective based on immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety results. Six dose levels were studied and the treatment schedule consisted of five doses administered every 2 weeks and then monthly until 15 doses had been given. Dose levels evaluated were 150, 300, 600, 900, 1200, and 1500 μg with five patients included in each dose level except the 900 μg dose (n = 10). Immunogenicity was determined by antibody titers generated in patients after vaccination. Antitumor effect was measured by response criteria of evaluation in solid tumors and safety was evaluated by common toxicity criteria of adverse events. The vaccine was safe and immunogenic at all doses levels. The most frequent adverse events related to vaccination were mild to moderate injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms. Vaccination induced specific anti-NeuGcGM3 immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G antibody responses in all patients. Disease control (objective response or stable disease) was obtained in 38.46% of patients. Global median overall survival was 20.20 months. Two patients achieved overall survival duration of about 4 and 5 years, respectively. The 900 μg dose resulted in overall survival duration of 19.40 months and was selected as the biological optimal dose.
doi:10.2147/CMAR.S22617
PMCID: PMC3468021  PMID: 23055778
melanoma; clinical trial; therapeutic vaccine; ganglioside; N-glycolyl GM3
3.  NGlycolylGM3/VSSP Vaccine in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients: Results of Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial 
Patients treated with vaccines based on NGlycolil gangliosides have showed benefit in progression free survival and overall survival. These molecules, which have been observed in breast cancer cells, are minimally or not expressed in normal human tissue and have been considered as antigen tumor-specific. For this reason they are very attractive to immunotherapy. A phase I/II clinical trial was carried out in metastatic breast cancer patients with the NGlycolylGM3/VSSP vaccine administered by subcutaneous route. Selecting the optimal biological doses of the vaccine in these patients was the principal objective based on the immunogenicity, efficacy and safety results. Six levels of doses of vaccine were studied. Treatment schedule consisted of five doses every two weeks and then monthly until reaching a fifteenth doses. Doses levels studied were 150, 300, 600, 900, 1200 and 1500 μg. Five patients in each level were included except at the 900 μg dose, in which ten patients were included. Immunogenicity was determined by levels of antibodies generated in patients after vaccination. The response criteria of evaluation in solid tumors (RECIST) was used to evaluate antitumoral effect. Safety was evaluated by Common Toxicity Criteria of Adverse Event (CTCAE). The vaccine administration was safe and immunogenic in all does levels. Most frequent adverse events related to vaccination were mild or moderate and were related to injection site reactions and “flu-like” symptoms. Vaccination induced specific anti-NeuGcGM3 IgM and IgG antibodies responses in all patients. Disease control (objective response or stable disease) was obtained in 72.7% of evaluated patients. Median overall survival was 15.9 months. Two patients of two different dose levels achieved overall survival values of about six years. The dose of 900 μg was selected as biological optimal dose in which overall survival was 28.5 months.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S8488
PMCID: PMC3465086  PMID: 23055739
metastatic breast cancer; clinical trial; therapeutic vaccine; ganglioside; NGcGM3

Results 1-3 (3)