Purpose: Tumor antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DC) are believed to activate antitumor immunity by stimulating T cells, and CTL-associated antigen 4 (CTLA4)-blocking antibodies should release a key negative regulatory pathway on T cells. The combination was tested in a phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced melanoma. Experimental Design: Autologous DC were pulsed with MART-126-35 peptide and administered with a dose escalation of the CTLA4-blocking antibody tremelimumab. Sixteen patients were accrued to five dose levels. Primary end points were safety and immune effects; clinical efficacy was a secondary end point. Results: Dose-limiting toxicities of grade 3 diarrhea and grade 2 hypophysitis developed in two of three patients receiving tremelimumab at 10 mg/kg monthly. Four patients had an objective tumor response, two partial responses and two complete responses, all melanoma free between 2 and 4 years after study initiation. There was no difference in immune monitoring results between patients with an objective tumor response and those without a response. Exploratory gene expression analysis suggested that immune-related gene signatures, in particular for B-cell function, may be important in predicting response. Conclusion: The combination of MART-1 peptide-pulsed DC and tremelimumab results in objective and durable tumor responses at the higher range of the expected response rate with either agent alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research