Immune responses in advanced colorectal cancer following repeated intradermal vaccination with the anti-CEA murine monoclonal antibody, PR1A3: results of a phase I study.
Zbar AP., Thomas H., Wilkinson RW., Wadhwa M., Syrigos KN., Ross EL., Dilger P., Allen-Mersh TG., Kmiot WA., Epenetos AA., Snary D., Bodmer WF.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The aim was to determine the toxicity, clinical and immune responses to the murine monoclonal anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) antibody, PR1A3, in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifteen patients with advanced colorectal cancer received either 0.5-, 1.0- or 5.0-mg doses of PR1A3 mixed with 10% w/v Alum adjuvant (Superfos Biosector, Denmark) intradermally at 4-week intervals for 3 months. Patient serum was assessed for anti-idiotypic (Ab2), anti-anti-idiotypic (Ab3) and human anti-mouse antibody (HAMA) reactivity. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), CEA and PR1A3, stimulated IL-2, IL-4 and IFN-gamma levels and PR1A3-stimulated IL-2 receptor expression during immunotherapy were determined. Comparisons were made with 16 age-matched controls without malignant disease. RESULTS: Hyperimmune sera from 12 of the 15 patients showed Ab2 reactivity with no detectable Ab3 responses. Strong HAMA reactivity was recorded in 7 of the 15 cases with no adverse clinical effect. Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses developed in 12 of the 15 patients. Pre-treatment PBMC proliferation with PHA was subnormal in each patient compared with controls, becoming normal (or supranormal) in all patients during immunisation (P<0.001). PBMC proliferation with CEA and PR1A3 increased during immunotherapy (P<0.001) along with stimulated production of IL-2, IFN-gamma and IL-2 receptor expression. Progressive disease was observed in 14 of the 15 patients with minimal toxicity. CONCLUSION: PR1A3 generated limited idiotypic responses but robust DTH reactivity in most patients. In vitro PBMC proliferation with mitogens and recall antigens is greatly increased during the course of immunisation, with a shift in stimulated cytokine profile.