Postoperative Adjuvant Therapy for Resectable Pancreatic Cancer With Gemcitabine and Adoptive Immunotherapy

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Abstract

Objectives

We previously described adoptive immunotherapy (AIT) with cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) stimulated by the mucin 1 (MUC1)–expressing human pancreatic cancer cell line YPK-1 (MUC1-CTLs) and demonstrated that MUC1-CTLs might prevent liver metastasis. In the present study, we combined gemcitabine (GEM) and AIT for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Methods

A total of 43 patients who underwent radical pancreatectomy received treatment with MUC1-CTLs and GEM. After surgery, MUC1-CTLs were induced and administered intravenously 3 times, and GEM administered according to the standard regimen for 6 months. The patients whose relative dose intensity of GEM was 50% or more and who received 2 or more MUC1-CTL treatments were used as the adequate treatment group (n = 21).

Results

In the adequate treatment group, disease-free survival was 15.8 months, and overall survival was 24.7 months. Liver metastasis was found only in 7 patients (33%), and local recurrence occurred in 4 patients (19%). The independent prognostic factor of long-term disease-free survival on multivariate analysis was the average number of CTLs administered (P = 0.0133).

Conclusions

The combination therapy with AIT and GEM prevented liver metastasis and local recurrence. Moreover, the disease free-survival was improved in patients who received sufficient CTLs.

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