Purpose: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) can be responsive to T-cell-mediated immunity. K562/granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a GM-CSF producing vaccine derived from a CML cell line that expresses several CML-associated antigens. A pilot study was developed to determine if K562/GM-CSF immunotherapy could improve clinical responses to imatinib mesylate (IM) in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. Experimental Design: Patients with chronic phase CML who achieved at least a major cytogeneic response but remained with persistent, measurable disease despite one or more years on imatinib mesylate were eligible. Each was given a series of four vaccines administered in three-week intervals, with or without topical imiquimod, while remaining on a stable dose of imatinib mesylate. CML disease burden was measured serially before and after vaccination. Results: Nineteen patients were vaccinated, with a median duration of previous imatinib mesylate therapy of 37 (13-53) months. Mean PCR measurements of BCR-ABL for the group declined significantly following the vaccines (P = 0.03). Thirteen patients had a progressive decline in disease burden, 8 of whom had increasing disease burden before vaccination. Twelve patients achieved their lowest tumor burden measurements to date following vaccine, including seven subjects who became PCR-undetectable. Conclusions: K562/GM-CSF vaccine appears to improve molecular responses in patients on imatinib mesylate, including achieving complete molecular remissions, despite long durations of previous imatinib mesylate therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research