Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII

A case report: immune responses and clinical course of the first human use of granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating-factor-transduced autologous melanoma cells for immunotherapy.

PMID 9111579


The first use of granulocyte/macrophage-colony-stimulating-factor-transduced, lethally irradiated, autologous melanoma cells as a therapeutic vaccine in a patient, with rapidly progressive, widely disseminated malignant melanoma resulted in the generation of a novel antitumour immune response associated with partial, albeit temporary, clinical benefit. An initially negative reaction to non-transduced, autologous melanoma cells was converted to a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction of increasing magnitude following successive vaccinations. While intradermal vaccine sites showed prominent dendritic cell accrual, DTH sites revealed a striking influx of eosinophils in addition to activated/memory T lymphocytes and macrophages, recalling the histology of challenge tumour cell rejection in immune mice. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) reactive with autologous melanoma cells were detectable at high frequency after vaccination, not only in limiting-dilution analysis, but also in bulk culture without added cytokines. Clonal analysis of CTL showed a conversion from a purely CD8+ response to a high proportion of CD4+ clones following vaccination. A prominent acute-phase response manifested by a five- to tenfold increase in C-reactive protein was observed, as was a systemic eosinophila. Vaccination resulted in the regression of axillary lymphatic metastases, stabilisation of pulmonary metastases, and a dramatic, reversible increase in cerebral oedema associated with multiple central nervous system metastases: however, lesions in the adrenal glands, pancreas and spleen proved refractory. The antitumour effects and immune response were not detectable 2 months following the last vaccination. Irradiation of the extensive cerebral metastases resulted in rapid deterioration and death of the patient.

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