Immunotherapy at Large: The Road to Personalized Cancer Vaccines

“The field of tumor immunology has been flooded with exciting therapeutic advances on many fronts. Immunotherapies targeting T cell inhibitory molecules have proven highly effective in some cancers, but additional strategies to induce tumor immunity, such as cancer vaccination, could further increase tumor killing. The combination of both will probably be the way forward in future immunotherapy. In ‘Bedside to Bench’, Robert Vonderheide and Katherine Nathanson discuss the potential of cancer genomics to identify specific tumor mutations in patients that may be used as targets in cancer vaccines to overcome problems linked to self-antigen epitopes used nowadays. Despite the existing biological and technical hurdles, a framework to implement personalized cancer vaccines in the clinic may be worth considering. In ‘Bench to Bedside’, Glenn Dranoff peruses the clinical efficacy and detrimental effects of two T cell immune-checkpoint inhibitors, alone and in combination, in patients with melanoma. The studies underscore the need to continue investigating specific tumor events directly involving tumor evasion to develop combinatorial strategies that will reduce drug-related pathology while achieving anti-tumor efficacy.”


The Antimelanoma Activity of the Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Panobinostat (LBH589) is Mediated by Direct Tumor Cytotoxicity and Increased Tumor Immunogenicity

“Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer, and its incidence has been increasing faster than any other cancer. Although immunogenic, melanoma is not effectively cleared by host immunity. In this study, we investigate the therapeutic, antimelanoma potential of the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) panobinostat (LBH589) by assessing both its cytotoxic effects on melanoma cells as well as enhancement of immune recognition of melanoma. Utilizing murine and human melanoma cell lines, we analyzed the effects of LBH589 on proliferation and survival. In addition, we analyzed the expression of several immunologically relevant surface markers and melanoma differentiation antigens, and the ability of LBH589-treated melanoma to activate antigen-specific T cells. Finally, we assessed the in-vivo effects of LBH589 in a mouse melanoma model. Low nanomolar concentrations of LBH589 inhibit the growth of all melanoma cell lines tested, but not normal melanocytes. This inhibition is characterized by increased apoptosis as well as a G1 cell cycle arrest. In addition, LBH589 augments the expression of major histocompatibility complex and costimulatory molecules on melanoma cells leading to an increased ability to activate antigen-specific T cells. Treatment also increases expression of melanoma differentiation antigens. In vivo, LBH589 treatment of melanoma-bearing mice results in a significant increase in survival. However, in immunodeficient mice, the therapeutic effect of LBH589 is lost. Taken together, LBH589 exerts a dual effect upon melanoma cells by affecting not only growth/survival but also by increasing melanoma immunogenicity. These effects provide the framework for future evaluation of this HDAC inhibitor in melanoma treatment.”


Another Anti-PD1 Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Melanoma Patients


Following in the footsteps of positive results for the drug nivolumab, another anti-PD1 antibody, lambrolizumab (formerly MK-3475), is also showing promising activity in melanoma. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, presented data from a large, 1,000-plus patient phase I trial that also included other cancer types. Continue reading…


Safety and Tumor Responses with Lambrolizumab (Anti–PD-1) in Melanoma

“The programmed death 1 (PD-1) receptor is a negative regulator of T-cell effector mechanisms that limits immune responses against cancer. We tested the anti–PD-1 antibody lambrolizumab (previously known as MK-3475) in patients with advanced melanoma.”


Anti-CD47 Antibody–Mediated Phagocytosis of Cancer by Macrophages Primes an Effective Antitumor T-cell Response

“Mobilization of the T-cell response against cancer has the potential to achieve long-lasting cures. However, it is not known how to harness antigen-presenting cells optimally to achieve an effective antitumor T-cell response. In this study, we show that anti-CD47 antibody–mediated phagocytosis of cancer by macrophages can initiate an antitumor T-cell immune response.”


Anti-CD47 Antibody–Mediated Phagocytosis of Cancer by Macrophages Primes an Effective Antitumor T-cell Response

“Mobilization of the T-cell response against cancer has the potential to achieve long-lasting cures. However, it is not known how to harness antigen-presenting cells optimally to achieve an effective antitumor T-cell response. In this study, we show that anti-CD47 antibody–mediated phagocytosis of cancer by macrophages can initiate an antitumor T-cell immune response.”


Anti-CD47 Antibody–Mediated Phagocytosis of Cancer by Macrophages Primes an Effective Antitumor T-cell Response

“Mobilization of the T-cell response against cancer has the potential to achieve long-lasting cures. However, it is not known how to harness antigen-presenting cells optimally to achieve an effective antitumor T-cell response. In this study, we show that anti-CD47 antibody–mediated phagocytosis of cancer by macrophages can initiate an antitumor T-cell immune response.”