Journal of translational medicine

Phage idiotype vaccination: first phase I/II clinical trial in patients with multiple myeloma.

PMID 24885819


Multiple myeloma is characterized by clonal expansion of B cells producing monoclonal immunoglobulins or fragments thereof, which can be detected in the serum and/or urine and are ideal target antigens for patient-specific immunotherapies. Using phage particles as immunological carriers, we employed a novel chemically linked idiotype vaccine in a clinical phase I/II trial including 15 patients with advanced multiple myeloma. Vaccines composed of purified paraproteins linked to phage were manufactured successfully for each patient. Patients received six intradermal immunizations with phage idiotype vaccines in three different dose groups. Phage idiotype was well tolerated by all study participants. A subset of patients (80% in the middle dose group) displayed a clinical response indicated by decrease or stabilization of paraprotein levels. Patients exhibiting a clinical response to phage vaccines also raised idiotype-specific immunoglobulins. Induction of a cellular immune response was demonstrated by a cytotoxicity assay and delayed type hypersensitivity tests. We present a simple, time- and cost-efficient phage idiotype vaccination strategy, which represents a safe and feasible patient-specific therapy for patients with advanced multiple myeloma and produced promising anti-tumor activity in a subset of patients.