• Clinical and immunological responses in metastatic melanoma patients vaccinated with a high-dose poly-epitope vaccine.

      Dangoor, A; Lorigan, Paul C; Keilholz, U; Schadendorf, D; Harris, A; Ottensmeier, C; Smyth, J; Hoffmann, K; Anderson, R; Cripps, M; et al. (2010-06)
      BACKGROUND: Safety and cellular immunogenicity of rising doses and varying regimens of a poly-epitope vaccine were evaluated in advanced metastatic melanoma. The vaccine comprised plasmid DNA and recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) both expressing a string (Mel3) of seven HLA.A2/A1 epitopes from five melanoma antigens. METHODS: Forty-one HLA-A2 positive patients with stage III/IV melanoma were enrolled. Patient groups received one or two doses of DNA.Mel3 followed by escalating doses of MVA.Mel3. Immunisations then continued eight weekly in the absence of disease progression. Epitope-specific CD8+ T cell responses were evaluated using ex-vivo tetramer and IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays. Safety and clinical responses were monitored. RESULTS: Prime-boost DNA/MVA induced Melan-A-specific CD8+ T cell responses in 22/31 (71%) patients detected by tetramer assay. ELISPOT detected a response to at least one epitope in 10/31 (32%) patients. T cell responder rates were <50% with low-dose DNA/MVA, or MVA alone, rising to 91% with high-dose DNA/MVA. Among eight patients showing evidence of clinical benefit-one PR (24 months+), five SD (5 months+) and two mixed responses-seven had associated immune responses. Melan-A-tetramer+ immunity was associated with a median 8-week increase in time-to-progression (P = 0.037) and 71 week increase in survival (P = 0.0002) compared to non-immunity. High-dose vaccine was well tolerated. The only significant toxicities were flu-like symptoms and injection-site reactions. CONCLUSIONS: DNA.Mel3 and MVA.Mel3 in a prime-boost protocol generated high rates of immune response to melanoma antigen epitopes. The treatment was well tolerated and the correlation of immune responses with patient outcomes encourages further investigation.
    • A phase I dose-escalation and bioavailability study of oral and intravenous formulations of erlotinib (Tarceva, OSI-774) in patients with advanced solid tumors of epithelial origin.

      Ranson, Malcolm R; Shaw, H; Wolf, J; Hamilton, M; McCarthy, S; Dean, Emma J; Reid, A; Judson, I; Department of Medical Oncology, University of Manchester, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. malcolm.ranson@manchester.ac.uk (2010-05)
      PURPOSE: An intravenous (IV) erlotinib formulation has not been characterized in cancer patients but may be useful in those with gastrointestinal abnormalities that impact on the ability to take oral medication. This study sought to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of erlotinib administered as a single 30-min infusion in patients with advanced solid tumors and absolute bioavailability of erlotinib tablets at matched doses. METHODS: This was a two-center, open label, Phase I, dose-escalation and bioavailability study of single dose IV and oral erlotinib. RESULTS: The highest escalated IV erlotinib dose achieved was 100 mg, with only mild adverse events reported. The MTD for IV erlotinib was not reached as a predetermined erlotinib plasma concentration cap of 4 microg/mL was exceeded in 3/6 patients. No dose-limiting toxicity was observed. Median bioavailability of erlotinib tablets was 76%. CONCLUSIONS: A 100 mg single IV dose of erlotinib, given as a 30-min infusion, was well tolerated with only minor adverse events and the high level of bioavailability of oral erlotinib was confirmed.
    • T cell-based immunotherapy of metastatic renal cell carcinoma: modest success and future perspective.

      Shablak, Alaaeldin; Hawkins, Robert E; Rothwell, Dominic G; Elkord, Eyad; Department of Medical Oncology, School of Cancer, Enabling Sciences and Technology, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom. (2009-11-01)
      Metastatic renal cell carcinoma (MRCC) remains a challenging malignancy to treat. Cancer immunotherapies have been extensively explored in melanoma and RCC as they poorly respond to conventional cytotoxic agents but show responses to a variety of immunologic agents. The recent considerable success of T cell-based immunotherapy in melanoma warrants further efforts to apply this treatment to other cancers including MRCC. Although RCC is an immunosensitive cancer, similar attempts in MRCC have shown a very limited success. In this review, we summarize the clinical data on T cell-based immunotherapies for MRCC showing the modest success that has been achieved to date. More importantly, we discuss potential strategies for improving its efficacy for the treatment of MRCC in light of the important achievements for treating metastatic melanoma. In particular, the growing evidence of success by combining expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes with lymphodepletion merits investigation in MRCC. Identifying new RCC-associated antigens, optimized methods, and conditions for detection, isolation, and/or modification and expansion of tumor-specific T cells are all important strategies to be pursued for improving T cell-based immunotherapy of MRCC.
    • Transcriptional evidence for the "Reverse Warburg Effect" in human breast cancer tumor stroma and metastasis: similarities with oxidative stress, inflammation, Alzheimer's disease, and "Neuron-Glia Metabolic Coupling".

      Pavlides, Stephanos; Tsirigos, Aristotelis; Vera, Iset; Flomenberg, Neal; Frank, Philippe G; Casimiro, Mathew C; Wang, Chenguang; Pestell, Richard G; Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E; Howell, Anthony; et al. (2010-04)
      Caveolin-1 (-/-) null stromal cells are a novel genetic model for cancer-associated fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Here, we used an unbiased informatics analysis of transcriptional gene profiling to show that Cav-1 (-/-) bone-marrow derived stromal cells bear a striking resemblance to the activated tumor stroma of human breast cancers. More specifically, the transcriptional profiles of Cav-1 (-/-) stromal cells were most closely related to the primary tumor stroma of breast cancer patients that had undergone lymph-node (LN) metastasis. This is consistent with previous morphological data demonstrating that a loss of stromal Cav-1 protein (by immuno-histochemical staining in the fibroblast compartment) is significantly associated with increased LN-metastasis. We also provide evidence that the tumor stroma of human breast cancers shows a transcriptional shift towards oxidative stress, DNA damage/repair, inflammation, hypoxia, and aerobic glycolysis, consistent with the "Reverse Warburg Effect". Finally, the tumor stroma of "metastasis-prone" breast cancer patients was most closely related to the transcriptional profiles derived from the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. This suggests that certain fundamental biological processes are common to both an activated tumor stroma and neuro-degenerative stress. These processes may include oxidative stress, NO over-production (peroxynitrite formation), inflammation, hypoxia, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which are thought to occur in Alzheimer?s disease pathology. Thus, a loss of Cav-1 expression in cancer-associated myofibroblasts may be a protein biomarker for oxidative stress, aerobic glycolysis, and inflammation, driving the "Reverse Warburg Effect" in the tumor micro-environment and cancer cell metastasis.
    • Trastuzumab plus anastrozole versus anastrozole alone for the treatment of postmenopausal women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive, hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer: results from the randomized phase III TAnDEM study.

      Kaufman, Bella; Mackey, John R; Clemens, Michael R; Bapsy, Poonamalle P; Vaid, Ashok; Wardley, Andrew M; Tjulandin, Sergei; Jahn, Michaela; Lehle, Michaela; Feyereislova, Andrea; et al. (2009-11-20)
      PURPOSE: TAnDEM is the first randomized phase III study to combine a hormonal agent and trastuzumab without chemotherapy as treatment for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)/hormone receptor-copositive metastatic breast cancer (MBC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Postmenopausal women with HER2/hormone receptor-copositive MBC were randomly assigned to anastrozole (1 mg/d orally) with or without trastuzumab (4 mg/kg intravenous infusion on day 1, then 2 mg/kg every week) until progression. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intent-to-treat population. Results Overall, 103 patients received trastuzumab plus anastrozole; 104 received anastrozole alone. Patients in the trastuzumab plus anastrozole arm experienced significant improvements in PFS compared with patients receiving anastrozole alone (hazard ratio = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.84; median PFS, 4.8 v 2.4 months; log-rank P = .0016). In patients with centrally confirmed hormone receptor positivity (n = 150), median PFS was 5.6 and 3.8 months in the trastuzumab plus anastrozole and anastrozole alone arms, respectively (log-rank P = .006). Overall survival in the overall and centrally confirmed hormone receptor-positive populations showed no statistically significant treatment difference; however, 70% of patients in the anastrozole alone arm crossed over to receive trastuzumab after progression on anastrozole alone. Incidence of grade 3 and 4 adverse events was 23% and 5%, respectively, in the trastuzumab plus anastrozole arm, and 15% and 1%, respectively, in the anastrozole alone arm; one patient in the combination arm experienced New York Heart Association class II congestive heart failure. CONCLUSION: Trastuzumab plus anastrozole improves outcomes for patients with HER2/hormone receptor-copositive MBC compared with anastrozole alone, although adverse events and serious adverse events were more frequent with the combination.