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Romano E.,Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research | Romano E.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Rossi M.,Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research | Rossi M.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | And 30 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2011

Purpose: We compared the efficacy of human Langerhans cells (LC) as tumor immunogens in vivo with monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDC) and investigated how interleukin 15 (IL15) supports optimal DC-stimulated antitumor immunity. Experimental Design: American Joint Committee on Cancer stage III/IV melanoma patients participated in this first clinical trial comparing melanoma peptide-pulsed LC with moDC vaccines (NCT00700167, www.ClinicalTrials.gov). Correlative studies evaluated mechanisms mediating IL15 support of DC-stimulated antitumor immunity. Results: Both DC vaccines were safe and immunogenic for melanoma antigens. LC-based vaccines stimulated significantly greater tyrosinase-HLA-A*0201 tetramer reactivity than the moDC-based vaccines. The two DC subtypes were otherwise statistically comparable, in contrast to extensive prior data in vitro showing LC superiority. LCs synthesize much more IL15 than moDCs and stimulate significantly more antigen-specific lymphocytes with a cytolytic IFN-γ profile even without exogenous IL15. When supplemented by low-dose IL15, instead of IL2, moDCs stimulate 5 to 6 logs more tumor antigen-specific effector memory T cells (TEMRA) over 3 to 4 weeks in vitro. IL2 and IL15 can be synergistic in moDC stimulation of cytolytic T cells. IL15 promotes T-cell expression of the antiapoptotic bcl-2 and inhibits candidate regulatory T-cell (Treg) expansion after DC stimulation, countering two effects of IL2 that do not foster tumor immunity. Conclusions: MoDC-based vaccines will require exogenous IL15 to achieve clinical efficacy. Alternatively, LCs can couple the endogenous production of IL15 with potent T-cell stimulatory activity. Optimization of full-length tumor antigen expression for processing into multiple immunogenic peptides for presentation by both class I and II MHC therefore merits emphasis to support more effective antitumor immunity stimulated by LCs. ©2011 AACR.

Abdel-Wahab O.,Leukemia Service | Abdel-Wahab O.,New York Medical College | Klimek V.M.,Leukemia Service | Klimek V.M.,New York Medical College | And 21 more authors.
Cancer Discovery | Year: 2014

Vemurafenib, a RAF inhibitor, extends survival in patients with BRAFV600-mutant melanoma but activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling in RAS-mutant cells. In a patient with a BRAFV600K-mutant melanoma responding to vemurafenib, we observed accelerated progression of a previously unrecognized NRAS-mutant leukemia. We hypothesized that combining vemurafenib with a MAP-ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor would inhibit ERK activation in the melanoma and prevent ERK activation by vemurafenib in the leukemia, and thus suppress both malignancies. We demonstrate that intermittent administration of vemurafenib led to a near-complete remission of the melanoma, and the addition of the MEK inhibitor cobimetinib (GDC-0973) caused suppression of vemurafenib-induced leukemic proliferation and ERK activation. Antimelanoma and antileukemia responses have been maintained for nearly 20 months, as documented by serial measurements of tumor-derived DNA in plasma in addition to conventional radiographic and clinical assessments of response. These data support testing of intermittent ERK pathway inhibition in the therapy for both RAS-mutant leukemia and BRAF-mutant melanoma. Significance: We show that in a patient with simultaneous RAS-mutant leukemia and BRAF-mutant melanoma, intermittent RAF inhibitor therapy induced a near-complete melanoma response, and addition of a MEK inhibitor prevented RAF inhibitor-induced activation of the RAS-mutant leukemia. Intermittent therapy may permit greater pathway inhibition with less toxicity, avoid chronic relief of pathway feedback, and have enhanced effectiveness compared with chronic administration. © 2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

Balachandran V.P.,Memorial Hospital | Cavnar M.J.,Memorial Hospital | Zeng S.,Memorial Hospital | Bamboat Z.M.,Memorial Hospital | And 15 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2011

Imatinib mesylate targets mutated KIT oncoproteins in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and produces a clinical response in 80% of patients. The mechanism is believed to depend predominantly on the inhibition of KIT-driven signals for tumor-cell survival and proliferation. Using a mouse model of spontaneous GIST, we found that the immune system contributes substantially to the antitumor effects of imatinib. Imatinib therapy activated CD8 + T cells and induced regulatory T cell (T reg cell) apoptosis within the tumor by reducing tumor-cell expression of the immunosuppressive enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (Ido). Concurrent immunotherapy augmented the efficacy of imatinib in mouse GIST. In freshly obtained human GIST specimens, the T cell profile correlated with imatinib sensitivity and IDO expression. Thus, T cells are crucial to the antitumor effects of imatinib in GIST, and concomitant immunotherapy may further improve outcomes in human cancers treated with targeted agents. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lesokhin A.M.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Lesokhin A.M.,New York Medical College | Hohl T.M.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | Kitano S.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | And 17 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous population of cells that accumulate during tumor formation, facilitate immune escape, and enable tumor progression. MDSCs are important contributors to the development of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that blocks the action of cytotoxic antitumor T effector cells. Heterogeneity in these cells poses a significant barrier to studying the in vivo contributions of individual MDSC subtypes. Herein, we show that granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, a cytokine critical for the numeric and functional development of MDSC populations, promotes expansion of a monocyte-derived MDSC population characterized by expression of CD11b and the chemokine receptor CCR2. Using a toxin-mediated ablation strategy to target CCR2-expressing cells, we show that these monocytic MDSCs regulate entry of activated CD8 T cells into the tumor site, thereby limiting the efficacy of immunotherapy. Our results argue that therapeutic targeting of monocytic MDSCs would enhance outcomes in immunotherapy. ©2011 AACR.

Kitano S.,Exploratory Oncology Research and Clinical Trial Center | Postow M.A.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Ziegler C.G.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Kuk D.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | And 9 more authors.
Cancer immunology research | Year: 2014

Evaluation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), a cell type implicated in T-cell suppression, may inform immune status. However, a uniform methodology is necessary for prospective testing as a biomarker. We report the use of a computational algorithm-driven analysis of whole blood and cryopreserved samples for monocytic MDSC (m-MDSC) quantity that removes variables related to blood processing and user definitions. Applying these methods to samples from patients with melanoma identifies differing frequency distribution of m-MDSC relative to that in healthy donors. Patients with a pretreatment m-MDSC frequency outside a preliminary definition of healthy donor range (<14.9%) were significantly more likely to achieve prolonged overall survival following treatment with ipilimumab, an antibody that promotes T-cell activation and proliferation. m-MDSC frequencies were inversely correlated with peripheral CD8(+) T-cell expansion following ipilimumab. Algorithm-driven analysis may enable not only development of a novel pretreatment biomarker for ipilimumab therapy, but also prospective validation of peripheral blood m-MDSCs as a biomarker in multiple disease settings. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

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