• 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.
    • YY1 expression predicts favourable outcome in follicular lymphoma.

      Naidoo, Khimara; Clay, V; Hoyland, J A; Swindell, Ric; Linton, Kim M; Illidge, Timothy M; Radford, John A; Byers, RJ; School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2011-02)
      Follicular lymphoma is the second most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma worldwide. The majority of patients diagnosed as having follicular lymphoma have an indolent form of the disease, but a subset of patients have aggressive disease with a shorter survival interval. Optimal treatment stratification requires a distinction between these two groups, though there are presently few prognostic biomarkers available. The transcription factor YY1 has been shown to play an important role in cancer biology. The authors have previously reported a correlation of Yin Yang 1 (YY1) mRNA levels with survival in FL. This study aimed to validate these findings at the protein level.