Phase II Trial of a GM-CSF-producing and CD40L-expressing Bystander Cell Line Combined With an Allogeneic Tumor Cell–based Vaccine for Refractory Lung Adenocarcinoma

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We created a vaccine in which irradiated allogeneic lung adenocarcinoma cells are combined with a bystander K562 cell line transfected with hCD40L and hGM-CSF. By recruiting and activating dendritic cells, we hypothesized that the vaccine would induce tumor regression in metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. Intradermal vaccine was given q14 days×3, followed by monthly ×3. Cyclophosphamide (300 mg/m2 IV) was administered before the first and fourth vaccines to deplete regulatory T cells. All-trans retinoic acid was given (150/mg/m2/d) after the first and fourth vaccines to enhance dendritic cell differentiation. Twenty-four participants were accrued at a single institution from October 2006 to June 2008, with a median age 64 years and median of 4 previous lines of systemic therapy. A total of 101 vaccines were administered. Common toxicities were headache (54%) and site reaction (38%). No radiologic responses were observed. Median overall survival was 7.9 months and median progression-free survival was 1.7 months. Of 14 patients evaluable for immunological study, 5 had peptide-induced CD8+ T-cell activation after vaccination. Overall, vaccine administration was feasible in an extensively pretreated population of metastatic lung cancer. Despite a suggestion of clinical activity in the subset with immune response, the trial did not meet the primary endpoint of inducing radiologic tumor regression.

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