Donald E White

National Cancer Institute (USA), Maryland, United States

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Publications (38)256.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Metastasis heterogeneity presents a significant obstacle to the development of targeted cancer therapeutics. In this study, we sought to establish from a large series of human melanoma metastases whether there exists a determined pattern in tumor cellular heterogeneity that may guide the development of future targeted immunotherapies. From a cohort of 1514 patients with metastatic melanoma, biopsies were procured over a 17 year period from 3086 metastatic tumors involving various anatomic sites. To allow specific tumor cell profiling, we utilized established immunohistochemical methods to perform semi-quantitative assessment for a panel of prototypic melanocyte differentiation antigens (MDAs) including gp100, MART-1, and tyrosinase (TYR). To gain insight into the endogenous host immune response against these tumors, we further characterized tumor cell expression of MHC I and MHC II and, also, the concomitant CD4+ and CD8+ T cell infiltrate. Tumor cell profiling for MDA expression demonstrated an anatomic site-specific pattern of antigen expression that was highest in brain, intermediate in soft tissues/lymph nodes, and lowest in visceral metastases. Hierarchical clustering analysis supported that melanoma metastases have a phylogenetically determined, rather than a stochastic, pattern of antigen expression that varies by anatomic site. Further, TYR expression was more frequently lost in metastatic sites outside of the brain and was uniquely correlated with both endogenous CD8+ and CD4+ T cell infiltrate. Site-specific antigen heterogeneity represents a novel attribute for human melanoma metastases that should be considered in future therapy development and when assessing the responsiveness to antigen specific immunotherapies.
    Clinical Cancer Research 03/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is a complication that developed in some patients receiving 12 Gy total body irradiation (TBI) in addition to lymphodepleting preparative chemotherapy prior to infusion of autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) with high-dose aldesleukin (IL-2). This article describes the incidence, presentation, and course of radiation-associated TMA. The data for patients with metastatic melanoma who received ACT with TIL plus aldesleukin following myeloablative chemotherapy and 12-Gy TBI was examined, in order to look at patient characteristics and the natural history of TMA. The median time to presentation was approximately 8 months after completing TBI. The estimated cumulative incidence of TMA was 31.2% (median follow-up of 24 months). Noninvasive criteria for diagnosis included newly elevated creatinine levels, new-onset hypertension, new-onset anemia, microscopic hematuria, thrombocytopenia, low haptoglobin, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase values. Once diagnosed, patients were managed with control of their hypertension with multiple agents and supportive red blood cell transfusions. TMA typically stabilized or improved and no patient progressed to dialysis. TMA was associated with a higher probability of an antitumor response. TMA occurs in approximately a third of patients treated with a lymphodepleting preparative chemotherapy regimen with TBI prior to autologous T cell therapy. The disease has a variable natural history, however, no patient developed end-stage renal failure. Successful management with supportive care and aggressive hypertension control is vital to the safe application of a systemic therapy that has shown curative potential for patients with disseminated melanoma. Cancer 2014. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
    Cancer 01/2014; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSEAdoptive cell therapy (ACT) with autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) administered to lymphodepleted patients with melanoma can cause durable tumor regressions. The optimal TIL product for ACT is unknown. PATIENTS AND METHODS Patients with metastatic melanoma were prospectively assigned to receive unselected young TILs versus CD8(+)-enriched TILs. All patients received lymphodepleting chemotherapy and high-dose IL-2 therapy and were assessed for response, toxicity, survival, and immunologic end points.ResultsThirty-four patients received unselected young TILs with a median of 8.0% CD4(+) lymphocytes, and 35 patients received CD8(+)-enriched TILs with a median of 0.3% CD4(+) lymphocytes. One month after TIL infusion, patients who received CD8(+)-enriched TILs had significantly fewer CD4(+) peripheral blood lymphocytes (P = .01). Twelve patients responded to therapy with unselected young TILs (according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST]), and seven patients responded to CD8(+)-enriched TILs (35% v 20%; not significant). Retrospective studies showed a significant association between response to treatment and interferon gamma secretion by the infused TILs in response to autologous tumor (P = .04), and in the subgroup of patients who received TILs from subcutaneous tumors, eight of 15 patients receiving unselected young TILs responded but none of eight patients receiving CD8(+)-enriched TILs responded. CONCLUSIONA randomized selection design trial was feasible for improving individualized TIL therapy. Since the evidence indicates that CD8(+)-enriched TILs are not more potent therapeutically and they are more laborious to prepare, future studies should focus on unselected young TILs.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in patients with metastatic melanoma has been reported to have a 56% overall response rate with 20% complete responders. To increase the availability of this promising therapy in patients with advanced melanoma, a minimally invasive approach to procure tumor for TIL generation is warranted. A feasibility study was performed to determine the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic liver resection to generate TIL for ACT. Retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database identified 22 patients with advanced melanoma and visceral metastasis (AJCC Stage M1c) who underwent laparoscopic liver resection between 1 October 2005 and 31 July 2011. The indication for resection in all patients was to receive postoperative ACT with TIL. Twenty patients (91%) underwent resection utilizing a closed laparoscopic technique, one required hand-assistance and another required conversion to open resection. Median intraoperative blood loss was 100 mL with most cases performed without a Pringle maneuver. Median hospital stay was 3 days. Three (14%) patients experienced a complication from resection with no mortality. TIL were generated from 18 of 22 (82%) patients. Twelve of 15 (80%) TIL tested were found to have in vitro tumor reactivity. Eleven patients (50%) received the intended ACT. Two patients were rendered no evidence of disease after surgical resection, with one undergoing delayed ACT with generated TIL after relapse. Objective tumor response was seen in 5 of 11 patients (45%) who received TIL, with one patient experiencing an ongoing complete response (32+ months). Laparoscopic liver resection can be performed with minimal morbidity and serve as an effective means to procure tumor to generate therapeutic TIL for ACT to patients with metastatic melanoma.
    World Journal of Surgical Oncology 06/2012; 10:113. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment with ipilimumab can cause objective tumor responses in patients with metastatic melanoma. We have treated 177 evaluable patients in three clinical trials and have long-term follow-up to evaluate the durability of responses. Patients with metastatic melanoma were treated in three trials from 2002 to 2005. In protocol 1, 56 patients received ipilimumab with gp100 peptides. In protocol 2, 36 patients received ipilimumab with interleukin-2. In protocol 3, 85 patients received ipilimumab with intrapatient dose-escalation and were randomized to receive gp100 peptides. We have analyzed their long-term follow-up and survival data. With median follow-up for protocols 1, 2, and 3 being 92, 84, and 71 months, median survival was 14, 16, and 13 months with 5-year survival rates being 13%, 25%, and 23%, respectively. Patients in protocol 2 had a 17% complete response (CR) rate, compared with 7% in protocol 1 and 6% in protocol 3. These CR rates are higher than previously reported for the same trials because some patients who eventually became complete responders had continual tumor regression months to years after therapy. All but one of the 15 complete responders are ongoing at 54+ to 99+ months. This report provides the longest follow-up of patients with melanoma treated with ipilimumab and shows that ipilimumab can induce durable, potentially curative tumor regression in a small percentage of patients with metastatic melanoma. The combination of ipilimumab and interleukin-2 seems to have an increased CR rate, but this needs to be tested in a randomized trial.
    Clinical Cancer Research 01/2012; 18(7):2039-47. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most treatments for patients with metastatic melanoma have a low rate of complete regression and thus overall survival in these patients is poor. We investigated the ability of adoptive cell transfer utilizing autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) to mediate durable complete regressions in heavily pretreated patients with metastatic melanoma. Ninety-three patients with measurable metastatic melanoma were treated with the adoptive transfer of autologous TILs administered in conjunction with interleukin-2 following a lymphodepleting preparative regimen on three sequential clinical trials. Ninety-five percent of these patients had progressive disease following a prior systemic treatment. Median potential follow-up was 62 months. Objective response rates by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) in the 3 trials using lymphodepleting preparative regimens (chemotherapy alone or with 2 or 12 Gy irradiation) were 49%, 52%, and 72%, respectively. Twenty of the 93 patients (22%) achieved a complete tumor regression, and 19 have ongoing complete regressions beyond 3 years. The actuarial 3- and 5-year survival rates for the entire group were 36% and 29%, respectively, but for the 20 complete responders were 100% and 93%. The likelihood of achieving a complete response was similar regardless of prior therapy. Factors associated with objective response included longer telomeres of the infused cells, the number of CD8(+)CD27(+) cells infused, and the persistence of the infused cells in the circulation at 1 month (all P(2) < 0.001). Cell transfer therapy with autologous TILs can mediate durable complete responses in patients with metastatic melanoma and has similar efficacy irrespective of prior treatment. Clin Cancer Res; 17(13); 4550-7. ©2011 AACR.
    Clinical Cancer Research 05/2011; 17(13):4550-7. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is to analyze treatment-induced gonadal damage and premature ovarian failure after adoptive cell therapy (ACT) after a cytotoxic lymphodepleting preparative regimen. Records of 66 consecutive females who received ACT at the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH (Bethesda, MD) were reviewed. Patients received a conditioning regimen of high-dose cyclophosphamide (60 mg/kg x 2 doses) and fludarabine (25 mg/m² x 5 doses). Some patients also received total body radiation at 200 or 600 cGy. Assessment of ovarian function was determined by analysis of monthly follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, menstrual history, and symptoms. Among patients with serum available and normal pretreatment ovarian function, 21 had a preparative regimen with chemotherapy alone and 5 patients had received chemotherapy with total body radiation. Nine (43%) patients in the chemotherapy cohort and all 5 patients in the chemotherapy plus total body radiation cohort had persistently elevated FSH levels and were given the diagnosis of premature ovarian failure. Twelve (57%) patients had normal FSH levels at 6 months posttreatment. Median age of all patients at treatment was 34 years. Median age of women retaining normal ovarian function was 30 (range, 19-45) vs. 41 years (range, 30-49) for those who did not regain function. The conditioning regimen of 2 doses of cyclophosphamide (60 mg/kg) and 5 doses of fludarabine (25 mg/m²) may induce gonadal damage and premature ovarian failure. Younger age at treatment was associated with a higher frequency of normal ovarian function posttreatment, whereas adding total body radiation was associated with a high risk of ovarian failure.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 05/2011; 34(4):397-402. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and interleukin (IL)-2 administered following lymphodepletion can cause the durable complete regression of bulky metastatic melanoma in patients refractory to approved treatments. However, the generation of a unique tumor-reactive TIL culture for each patient may be prohibitively difficult. We therefore investigated the clinical and immunologic impact of unscreened, CD8+ enriched "young" TIL. Methods were developed for generating TIL that minimized the time in culture and eliminated the individualized tumor-reactivity screening step. Thirty-three patients were treated with these CD8+ enriched young TIL and IL-2 following nonmyeloablative lymphodepletion (NMA). Twenty-three additional patients were treated with CD8+ enriched young TIL and IL-2 after lymphodepletion with NMA and 6 Gy of total body irradiation. Young TIL cultures for therapy were successfully established from 83% of 122 consecutive melanoma patients. Nineteen of 33 patients (58%) treated with CD8+ enriched young TIL and NMA had an objective response (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) including 3 complete responders. Eleven of 23 patients (48%) treated with TIL and 6 Gy total body irradiation had an objective response including 2 complete responders. At 1 month after TIL infusion the absolute CD8+ cell numbers in the periphery were highly correlated with response. This study shows that a rapid and simplified method can be used to reliably generate CD8+ enriched young TIL for administration as an individualized therapy for advanced melanoma, and may allow this potentially effective treatment to be applied at other institutions and to reach additional patients.
    Clinical Cancer Research 12/2010; 16(24):6122-31. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although refractory to chemotherapy, metastatic melanoma may respond to adoptive immunotherapy. As novel treatments evolve, surgeons may be asked to perform metastasectomy not only for palliation or potential cure but also for isolation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. This study was undertaken to examine outcomes of patients with melanoma undergoing thoracic metastasectomy in preparation for investigational immunotherapy. A retrospective review identified 107 consecutive patients who underwent 116 thoracic metastasectomy procedures from April 1998 to July 2009. Indications for surgical intervention included procurement of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, rendering of patients to no evaluable disease status, palliation, and diagnosis. Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria were used to assess tumor response. Thoracotomy, lobectomy, and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery with nonanatomic resection were the most common procedures. Major complications included 1 death and 1 coagulopathy-induced hemothorax. Seventeen patients were rendered to no evaluable disease status. Virtually all patients with residual disease had tumor specimens cultured for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes; approximately 70% of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte cultures exhibited antitumor reactivity. Of the 91 patients with residual or recurrent disease, 24 (26%) underwent adoptive cell transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, of whom 7 exhibited objective responses (29% response rate and 8% based on intent to treat). Rapid disease progression precluded tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy in most cases. Actuarial 1- and 5-year survival rates for patients rendered to no evaluable disease status or receiving or not receiving tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were 93% and 76%, 64% and 33%, and 43% and 0%, respectively. Relatively few patients currently having thoracic metastasectomy undergo adoptive cell transfer. Continued refinement of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte expansion protocols and improved patient selection might increase the number of patients with melanoma benefiting from these interventions.
    The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 12/2010; 140(6):1276-82. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the objective response rate and response duration of melanoma brain metastases to adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with autologous antitumor lymphocytes plus interleukin-2 following a lymphodepleting preparative regimen. Methods: Between 2000 and 2009, 264 patients with metastatic melanoma received ACT, consisting of cyclophosphamide and fludarabine with or without total body irradiation, followed by the infusion of autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) or autologous peripheral blood lymphocytes retrovirally transduced to express a T-cell receptor (TCR) that recognized the melanocyte differentiation antigens gp-100 or MART-1. From this group, 26 patients were retrospectively identified to have had untreated brain metastases and extracranial disease before receiving ACT. The response rate and duration of melanoma brain metastases, as well as the overall response rate, response duration, and survival for these patients, are presented. Seventeen of these 26 patients received ACT with TIL. Seven of these patients (41%) achieved a complete response in the brain, and six patients achieved an overall partial response. In the nine patients that received TCR-transduced lymphocytes, two patients achieved a complete response in the brain (22%) and one of these two achieved an overall partial response. One patient developed a tumor-associated subarachnoid hemorrhage during the thrombocytopenic phase of therapy and had an uneventful metastatectomy. ACT with a nonmyeloablative preparative regimen using either TIL- or TCR gene-transduced cells and interleukin-2 can mediate complete and durable regression of melanoma brain metastases. This strategy can be used safely in selected patients with metastatic melanoma to the brain.
    Clinical Cancer Research 10/2010; 16(19):4892-8. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundPatients with metastatic melanoma to the liver (MML) have a median survival of 4 to 6 months. This study evaluated patients who underwent liver resection with intent to receive postoperative tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy. MethodsRetrospective analysis of a prospective database identified patients with MML who underwent liver resection from 1980 to 2008. ResultsA total of 539 patients had MML, and 39% (204 of 539) had tumor collected for TIL. A total of 17% (35 of 204) underwent liver resection for TIL. The 3-year overall survival was 53%. Lack of extrahepatic disease (P = .026), negative margin (P = .056), and single hepatic metastasis (P = .04) predicted survival after univariate analysis. Only lack of extrahepatic disease remained a significant predictor of survival after multivariate analysis (P = .043). A total of 31% (11 of 35) underwent complete resection without TIL, and 69% (24 of 35) underwent resection with synchronous intrahepatic and extrahepatic disease with intent to receive TIL. For 9 of 11 patients (2 of 11 excluded for gene therapy), 3-year survival was 80%. A total of 4 (44%) of 9 experienced recurrence, with a median disease-free survival of 1.2 years. For 24 patients (69%) with residual disease, 3-year survival was 51% (2 of 24 excluded for gene therapy). A total of 63% (15 of 24) received postoperative TIL (3-year survival 65%), and 29% (7 of 24) did not. A total of 40% (6 of 15) had disease that partially responded to TIL; the disease of 67% (4 of 6) had not progressed at median follow-up of 55 months (range, 42–197+ months). The seven patients who did not receive TIL had a median survival of 4.6 months. ConclusionsResection of MML with TIL should be considered because it can result in prolonged survival in a highly selected group of patients.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 01/2010; 17(1):163-170. · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor antigen-specific T cells are found within melanomas, yet tumors continue to grow. Although the tumor microenvironment is thought to influence the suppression of tumor-reactive T cells, the underlying mechanisms for this T-cell dysfunction are not clear. Here, we report that the majority of tumor infiltrating T lymphocytes (TIL), including MART-1/Melan-A melanoma antigen-specific CD8 T cells, predominantly expressed PD-1, in contrast to T cells in normal tissues and peripheral blood T lymphocytes (PBL). PD-1(+) TIL expressed CTLA-4 and Ki-67, markers that were not expressed by PD-1(-) TIL and T cells in the normal tissues and PBL. Moreover, PD-1(+) TIL were primarily HLA-DR(+) and CD127(-), in contrast to PD-1(-) TIL. Effector cytokine production by PD-1(+) TIL was impaired compared with PD-1(-) TIL and PBL. Collectively, the phenotypic and functional characterizations of TIL revealed a significantly higher frequency and level of PD-1 expression on TIL compared with normal tissue T-cell infiltrates and PBL, and PD-1 expression correlated with an exhausted phenotype and impaired effector function. These findings suggest that the tumor microenvironment can lead to up-regulation of PD-1 on tumor-reactive T cells and contribute to impaired antitumor immune responses.
    Blood 06/2009; 114(8):1537-44. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The two approved treatments for patients with metastatic melanoma, interleukin (IL)-2 and dacarbazine, mediate objective response rates of 12% to 15%. We previously reported that adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with autologous antitumor lymphocytes in lymphodepleted hosts mediated objective responses in 51% of 35 patients. Here, we update that study and evaluate the safety and efficacy of two increased-intensity myeloablative lymphodepleting regimens. We performed two additional sequential trials of ACT with autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in patients with metastatic melanoma. Increasing intensity of host preparative lymphodepletion consisting of cyclophosphamide and fludarabine with either 2 (25 patients) or 12 Gy (25 patients) of total-body irradiation (TBI) was administered before cell transfer. Objective response rates by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) and survival were evaluated. Immunologic correlates of effective treatment were studied. Although nonmyeloablative chemotherapy alone showed an objective response rate of 49%, when 2 or 12 Gy of TBI was added, the response rates were 52% and 72% respectively. Responses were seen in all visceral sites including brain. There was one treatment-related death in the 93 patients. Host lymphodepletion was associated with increased serum levels of the lymphocyte homeostatic cytokines IL-7 and IL-15. Objective responses were correlated with the telomere length of the transferred cells. Host lymphodepletion followed by autologous TIL transfer and IL-2 results in objective response rates of 50% to 70% in patients with metastatic melanoma refractory to standard therapies.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 10/2008; 26(32):5233-9. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify prognostic factors associated with survival beyond 4 years and overall response in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with high-dose bolus i.v. interleukin-2 (IL-2) given either alone or in combination with a variety of melanoma vaccines. 684 consecutive patients with metastatic melanoma received high-dose bolus i.v. IL-2 either alone or in conjunction with a variety of melanoma vaccines. Treatments occurred between August 1, 1985 and January 1, 2006. The overall objective response rate was 13% for patients receiving IL-2 alone and 16% for patients who received IL-2 with vaccine. In patients treated with IL-2 alone (n=305) and IL-2 with vaccine (n=379), having an objective response was associated with survival beyond 4 years (P<0.0001). No pretreatment factors could be identified that were strongly associated with increased rate of objective response or long-term survival in patients receiving IL-2 alone. In patients receiving IL-2 with vaccines, there were increased response rates in patients with s.c. or cutaneous disease only and lower response rates with visceral disease only. Patients who received the gp100:209-217(210M) peptide plus IL-2 showed a strong trend to increased objective responses compared with IL-2 alone (22% versus 12.8%; P=0.01) and also compared with patients who received a variety of vaccines that did not include this immunogenic peptide (13.8%; P=0.009). IL-2 can produce a modest response rate in patients with metastatic melanoma including patients with durable complete responses. S.c. or cutaneous disease only and vaccination with gp100:209-217(210M) peptide was associated with significant increase in response rates.
    Clinical Cancer Research 09/2008; 14(17):5610-8. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CTL-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) can inhibit T-cell activation and helps maintain peripheral self-tolerance. Previously, we showed immune-related adverse events (IRAE) and objective, durable clinical responses in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with CTLA-4 blockade. We have now treated 139 patients in two trials and have sufficient follow-up to examine factors associated with clinical response. A total of 139 patients with metastatic melanoma were treated: 54 patients received ipilimumab in conjunction with peptide vaccinations and 85 patients were treated with intra-patient dose escalation of ipilimumab and randomized to receive peptides in accordance with HLA-A*0201 status. Three patients achieved complete responses (CR; ongoing at 29+, 52+, and 53+ months); an additional 20 patients achieved partial responses (PR) for an overall objective response rate of 17%. The majority of patients (62%, 86 of 139) developed some form of IRAE, which was associated with a greater probability of objective antitumor response (P = 0.0004); all patients with CR had more severe IRAEs. Prior therapy with IFNalpha-2b was a negative prognostic factor, whereas prior high-dose interleukin-2 did not significantly affect the probability of response. There were no significant differences in the rate of clinical response or development of IRAEs between the two trials. The duration of tumor response was not affected by the use of high-dose steroids for abrogation of treatment-related toxicities (P = 0.23). There were no treatment-related deaths. In patients with metastatic melanoma, ipilimumab can induce durable objective clinical responses, which are related to the induction of IRAEs.
    Clinical Cancer Research 12/2007; 13(22 Pt 1):6681-8. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD25+ CD4+ T regulatory (Treg) cells regulate peripheral self tolerance and possess the ability to suppress antitumor responses, which may in part explain the poor clinical response of cancer patients undergoing active immunization protocols. We have previously shown that in vitro incubation of human PBMC with LMB-2, a CD25-directed immunotoxin, significantly reduced CD25+ FOXP3+ CD4+ Treg cells without impairing the function of the remaining lymphocytes. In the current study, eight patients with metastatic melanoma were treated with LMB-2 followed by MART-1 and gp100-specific peptide vaccination. LMB-2 administration resulted in a preferential, transient reduction in mean circulating CD25+ CD4+ T cell number, from 83 +/- 16 cells/microl to a nadir of 17 +/- 5 cells/microl, a 79.1% reduction. FOXP3 analysis revealed a less robust depletion with mean FOXP3+ CD4+ Treg cell number decreasing from 74 +/- 15 cells/microl to 36 +/- 8 cells/microl, a 51.4% reduction. FOXP3+ CD4+ Treg cells that survived LMB-2-mediated cytotoxicity expressed little or no CD25. Similar to the peripheral blood, immunohistochemical analysis showed a 68.9% mean reduction in FOXP3+ CD4+ Treg cell frequency in evaluable lesions. Despite inducing a reduction in Treg cell numbers in vivo, LMB-2 therapy did not augment the immune response to cancer vaccination and no patient experienced an objective response or autoimmunity. These data demonstrate the capacity of a CD25-directed immunotoxin to selectively mediate a transient partial reduction in circulating and tumor-infiltrating Treg cells in vivo, and suggest that more comprehensive Treg cell elimination may be required to bolster antitumor responses in patients with metastatic melanoma.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2007; 179(7):4919-28. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inhibitory receptor CTLA4 has a key role in peripheral tolerance of T cells for both normal and tumor-associated antigens. Murine experiments suggested that blockade of CTLA4 might have antitumor activity and a clinical experience with the blocking antibody ipilimumab in patients with metastatic melanoma did show durable tumor regressions in some patients. Therefore, a phase II study of ipilimumab was conducted in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer with a primary end point of response by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria. Two sequential cohorts received either 3 mg/kg followed by 1 mg/kg or all doses at 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks (with no intention of comparing cohort response rates). Major toxicities were enteritis and endocrine deficiencies of presumed autoimmune origin. One of 21 patients receiving the lower dose had a partial response. Five of 40 patients at the higher dose had partial responses (95% confidence interval for cohort response rate 4% to 27%) and responses were seen in patients who had previously not responded to IL-2. Thirty-three percent of patients experienced a grade III or IV immune-mediated toxicity. There was a highly significant association between autoimmune events (AEs) and tumor regression (response rate=30% with AE, 0% without AE). CTLA4 blockade with ipilimumab induces cancer regression in some patients with metastatic clear cell renal cancer, even if they have not responded to other immunotherapies. These regressions are highly associated with other immune-mediated events of presumed autoimmune origin by mechanisms as yet undefined.
    Journla of Immunotherapy 01/2007; 30(8):825-30. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A phase I study was conducted to assess the safety of adoptive immunotherapy using gene-modified autologous T cells for the treatment of metastatic ovarian cancer. T cells with reactivity against the ovarian cancer-associated antigen alpha-folate receptor (FR) were generated by genetic modification of autologous T cells with a chimeric gene incorporating an anti-FR single-chain antibody linked to the signaling domain of the Fc receptor gamma chain. Patients were assigned to one of two cohorts in the study. Eight patients in cohort 1 received a dose escalation of T cells in combination with high-dose interleukin-2, and six patients in cohort 2 received dual-specific T cells (reactive with both FR and allogeneic cells) followed by immunization with allogeneic peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Five patients in cohort 1 experienced some grade 3 to 4 treatment-related toxicity that was probably due to interleukin-2 administration, which could be managed using standard measures. Patients in cohort 2 experienced relatively mild side effects with grade 1 to 2 symptoms. No reduction in tumor burden was seen in any patient. Tracking 111In-labeled adoptively transferred T cells in cohort 1 revealed a lack of specific localization of T cells to tumor except in one patient where some signal was detected in a peritoneal deposit. PCR analysis showed that gene-modified T cells were present in the circulation in large numbers for the first 2 days after transfer, but these quickly declined to be barely detectable 1 month later in most patients. An inhibitory factor developed in the serum of three of six patients tested over the period of treatment, which significantly reduced the ability of gene-modified T cells to respond against FR+ tumor cells. Large numbers of gene-modified tumor-reactive T cells can be safely given to patients, but these cells do not persist in large numbers long term. Future studies need to employ strategies to extend T cell persistence. This report is the first to document the use of genetically redirected T cells for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
    Clinical Cancer Research 11/2006; 12(20 Pt 1):6106-15. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. High dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been found to produce durable antitumor responses in some patients, benefiting most greatly those patients with melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. In this paper, the hematologic toxicity and changes resulting from high dose IL-2 alone administered by intravenous bolus are discussed.Methods. One hundred ninety-nine consecutive patients treated with high dose IL-2 alone from January 1, 1988 to December 31, 1992 were included in this study. All patients had a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma or metastatic renal cell carcinoma and were treated at the National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD).Results. Anemia, requiring erythrocyte transfusions, occurred in 14% of all treatment courses, with a median of two units of erythrocytes transfused. Severe leukopenia (<1,000 leukocytes/mm3) was rare (1.5% of all patients) and was not associated with any infectious complications. Severe thrombocytopenia (<30,000 platelets/ mm3) occurred in 2.2% of all treatment cycles, with two patients experiencing a grade 3 hemorrhage, defined as gross blood loss, and one patient experiencing a grade 4 hemorrhage, defined as a debilitating blood loss. Defects in the coagulation pathway were common: abnormal partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time values occurred in 64% and 25% of the treatment cycles, respectively. In addition, a mean clearance of 93% of lymphocytes from the peripheral blood was observed within 24 hours after initiating IL-2 therapy. This was followed by rebound lymphocytosis to a mean of 198% of baseline on posttreatment Day 4. There were no treatment-related deaths.Conclusions. During IL-2 therapy, adverse sequelae of anemia, thrombocytopenia, coagulopathy, and leukopenia were usually mild, transient and rarely limited therapy. A profound decrease in lymphocytes in the peripheral circulation occurred within 24 hours after initiating therapy, with a rebound occurring after stopping IL-2. No specific hematologic parameter was associated significantly with a patient's increased probability of responding to therapy. Cancer 1995;75:1030-7.
    Cancer 06/2006; 75(4):1030 - 1037. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Conjugation of polyethylene glycol to recombinant human interleukin-2 (IL-2) results in a compound, polyethylene glycol-modified IL-2 (PEG–IL-2) that retains the in vitro and in vivo activity of IL-2, but exhibits a markedly prolonged circulating half-life. In mice, one dose of PEG–IL-2 results in tumor regression comparable to that achieved with multiple bolus doses of IL-2. Based on these preclinical studies, a Phase I study with PEG–IL-2 was undertaken in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and melanoma. Then, to exploit the higher peak levels attained with IL-2 and the improved trough levels of PEG–IL-2, a combination regimen beginning with bolus IL-2 followed by low dose maintenance PEG–IL-2 was devised and tested for efficacy.Methods. Patients with measurable metastatic melanoma or RCC were entered in a Phase I dose escalation trial of PEG–IL-2 given once a week by intravenous bolus. This trial then was repeated using a twice-a-week schedule. After determining the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and a safe outpatient regimen for PEG–IL-2, a hybrid regimen combining an initial high dose IL-2 cycle followed by chronic maintenance with weekly PEG–IL-2 was devised. This regimen was compared with a standard regimen consisting of two cycles of high dose unconjugated IL-2 in a randomized prospective clinical trial.Results. When given by intravenous bolus once a week, the MTD of PEG–IL-2 was 12 million IU/m2, with toxicities similar to those of unconjugated IL-2. A twice a-week schedule was less well tolerated. Of 28 patients given 32 treatment courses at varied dose levels, there were two partial responses and one minor response. A total of 124 patients with metastatic melanoma or RCC were randomized to either standard unconjugated IL-2 therapy or the hybrid regimen. There was no treatment-related mortality in either arm, and the use of PEG-IL-2 resulted in a significant decrease in the need for intensive-care-unit care. The response rates (partial response and complete response) for patients with RCC and melanoma were 19% and 15%, respectively, for IL-2 alone and 17% and 11%, respectively, for the IL-2 and PEG-IL-2 combination.Conclusions. The combination of high dose IL-2 followed by PEG-IL-2 is a well tolerated regimen with significant activity against RCC and melanoma, but it shows no significant increase in antitumor activity compared with high dose IL-2 alone. Cancer 1995; 76:687–94.
    Cancer 06/2006; 76(4):687 - 694. · 5.20 Impact Factor