Personalized cancer vaccine effectively mobilizes antitumor T cell immunity in ovarian cancer

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Abstract

We conducted a pilot clinical trial testing a personalized vaccine generated by autologous dendritic cells (DCs) pulsed with oxidized autologous whole-tumor cell lysate (OCDC), which was injected intranodally in platinum-treated, immunotherapy-naïve, recurrent ovarian cancer patients. OCDC was administered alone (cohort 1, n = 5), in combination with bevacizumab (cohort 2, n = 10), or bevacizumab plus low-dose intravenous cyclophosphamide (cohort 3, n = 10) until disease progression or vaccine exhaustion. A total of 392 vaccine doses were administered without serious adverse events. Vaccination induced T cell responses to autologous tumor antigen, which were associated with significantly prolonged survival. Vaccination also amplified T cell responses against mutated neoepitopes derived from nonsynonymous somatic tumor mutations, and this included priming of T cells against previously unrecognized neoepitopes, as well as novel T cell clones of markedly higher avidity against previously recognized neoepitopes. We conclude that the use of oxidized whole-tumor lysate DC vaccine is safe and effective in eliciting a broad antitumor immunity, including private neoantigens, and warrants further clinical testing.

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