Publication in OncoImmunology of the results of the first in-human trial with our PDC*line vaccine in melanoma
We are very pleased to announce the publication in OncoImmunology of the results of the first in-human trial with our innovative plasmacytoid dendritic cell line based cancer vaccine in melanoma (April 12th 2020).
The efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors has been shown to depend on preexisting antitumor immunity; thus, their combination with cancer vaccines is an attractive therapeutic approach. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) are strong inducers of antitumor responses and represent promising vaccine candidates. We developed a cancer vaccine approach based on an allogeneic PDC line that functioned as a very potent antigen-presenting cell in pre-clinical studies. In this phase Ib clinical trial, nine patients with metastatic stage IV melanoma received up to 60 million irradiated PDC line cells loaded with 4 melanoma antigens, injected subcutaneously at weekly intervals. The primary endpoints were safety and tolerability. The vaccine was well tolerated and no serious vaccine-induced side effects were recorded. Strikingly, there was no allogeneic response toward the vaccine, but a significant increase in the frequency of circulating anti-tumor specific T lymphocytes was observed in two patients, accompanied by a switch from a naïve to memory phenotype, thus demonstrating priming of antigen-specific T-cells. Signs of clinical activity were observed, including four stable diseases according to IrRC and vitiligoïd lesions. Four patients were still alive at week 48. We also demonstrate the in vitro enhancement of specific T cell expansion induced by the synergistic combination of peptide-loaded PDC line with anti-PD-1, as compared to peptide-loaded PDC line alone. Taken together, these clinical observations demonstrate the ability of the PDC line based-vaccine to prime and expand antitumor CD8+ responses in cancer patients. Further trials should test the combination of this vaccine with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
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