Phase I study of a multitargeted recombinant Ad5 PSA/MUC-1/brachyury-based immunotherapy vaccine in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Antitumor vaccines targeting tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) can generate antitumor immune response. A novel vaccine platform using adenovirus 5 (Ad5) vectors [E1-, E2b-] targeting three TAAs-prostate-specific antigen (PSA), brachyury, and MUC-1-has been developed. Both brachyury and the C-terminus of MUC-1 are overexpressed in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and have been shown to play an important role in resistance to chemotherapy, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and metastasis. The transgenes for PSA, brachyury, and MUC-1 all contain epitope modifications for the expression of CD8+ T-cell enhancer agonist epitopes. We report here the first-in-human trial of this vaccine platform.

Patients with mCRPC were given concurrently three vaccines targeting PSA, brachyury, and MUC-1 at 5×1011 viral particles (VP) each, subcutaneously every 3 weeks for a maximum of three doses (dose de-escalation cohort), followed by a booster vaccine every 8 weeks for 1 year (dose-expansion cohort only). The primary objective was to determine the safety and the recommended phase II dose. Immune assays and clinical responses were evaluated.

Eighteen patients with mCRPC were enrolled between July 2018 and September 2019 and received at least one vaccination. Median PSA was 25.58 ng/mL (range, 0.65-1006 ng/mL). The vaccine was tolerable and safe, and no grade >3 treatment-related adverse events or dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were observed. One patient had a partial response, while five patients had confirmed PSA decline and five had stable disease for >6 months. Median progression-free survival was 22 weeks (95% CI: 19.1 to 34). Seventeen (100%) of 17 patients mounted T-cell responses to at least one TAA, whereras 8 (47%) of 17 patients mounted immune responses to all three TAAs. Multifunctional T-cell responses to PSA, MUC-1, and brachyury were also detected after vaccination in the majority of the patients.

Ad5 PSA/MUC-1/brachyury vaccine is well tolerated. The primary end points were met and there were no DLTs. The recommended phase II dose is 5×1011 VP. The vaccine demonstrated clinical activity, including one partial response and confirmed PSA responses in five patients. Three patients with prolonged PSA responses received palliative radiation therapy. Further research is needed to evaluate the clinical benefit and immunogenicity of this vaccine in combination with other immuno-oncology agents and/or palliative radiation therapy.


Journal for immunotherapy of cancer. 2021 Mar [Epub]

Marijo Bilusic, Sheri McMahon, Ravi A Madan, Fatima Karzai, Yo-Ting Tsai, Renee N Donahue, Claudia Palena, Caroline Jochems, Jennifer L Marté, Charalampos Floudas, Julius Strauss, Jason Redman, Houssein Abdul Sater, Shahrooz Rabizadeh, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Jeffrey Schlom, James L Gulley

Genitourinary Malignancy Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA ., Genitourinary Malignancy Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA., Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA., ImmunityBio, Culver City, California, USA.