Bioactivity of autologous irradiated renal cell carcinoma vaccines generated by ex vivo granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor gene transfer

Jonathan W. Simons, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Christine E. Weber, Hyam I. Levitsky, William G. Nelson, Michael A. Carducci, Audrey J. Lazenby, Lawrence K. Cohen, Christy C. Finn, Shirley M. Clift, Karen M. Hauda, Lisa A. Beck, Kristen M. Leiferman, Albert H. Owens, Steven Piantadosi, Glenn Dranoff, Richard C. Mulligan, Drew M. Pardoll, Fray F. Marshall

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411 Scopus citations


Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) gene- transduced, irradiated tumor vaccines induce potent, T-cell-mediated antitumor immune responses in preclinical models. We report the initial results of a Phase I trial evaluating this strategy for safety and the induction of immune responses in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients were treated in a randomized, double-blind dose- escalation study with equivalent doses of autologous, irradiated RCC vaccine cells with or without ex vivo human GM-CSF gene transfer. The replication- defective retroviral vector MFG was used for GM-CSF gene transfer. No dose- limiting toxicities were encountered in 16 fully evaluable patients. GM-CSF gene-transduced vaccines were equivalent in toxicity to nontransduced vaccines up to the feasible limits of autologous tumor vaccine yield. No evidence of autoimmune disease was observed. Biopsies of intradermal sites of injection with GM-CSF gene-transduced vaccines contained distinctive macrophage, dendritic cell, eosinophil, neutrophil, and T-cell infiltrates similar to those observed in preclinical models of efficacy. Histological analysis of delayed-type hypersensitivity responses in patients vaccinated with GM-CSF-transduced vaccines demonstrated an intense eosinophil infiltrate that was not observed in patients who received nontransduced vaccines. An objective partial response was observed in a patient treated with GM-CSF gene-transduced vaccine who displayed the largest delayed-type hypersensitivity conversion. No replication-competent retrovirus was detected in vaccinated patients. This Phase I study demonstrated the feasibility, safety, and bioactivity of an autologous GM-CSF gene-transduced tumor vaccine for RCC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1546
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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