Browsing by Subject "Immunotherapy"

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  • Kasanen, Henna; Hernberg, Micaela; Mäkelä, Siru; Brück, Oscar; Juteau, Susanna; Kohtamäki, Laura; Ilander, Mette; Mustjoki, Satu; Kreutzman, Anna (2020)
    Anti-PD1 treatment has improved the survival of metastatic melanoma patients, yet it is unknown which patients benefit from the treatment. In this exploratory study, we aimed to understand the effects of anti-PD1 therapy on the patients' immune system and discover the characteristics that would result in successful treatment. We collected peripheral blood (PB) samples from 17 immuno-oncology-naive metastatic melanoma patients before and after 1 and 3 months of anti-PD1 therapy. In addition, matching tumor biopsies at the time of diagnosis were collected for tissue microarray. The complete blood counts, PB immunophenotype, serum cytokine profiles, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were analyzed and correlated with the clinical data. Patients were categorized based on their disease control into responders (complete response, partial response, stable disease > 6 months, N = 11) and non-responders (progressive disease, stable disease
  • Hosseini, Seyed Samad; Khalili, Saeed; Baradaran, Behzad; Bidar, Negar; Shahbazi, Mohammad-Ali; Mosafer, Jafar; Hashemzaei, Mahmoud; Mokhtarzadeh, Ahad; Hamblin, Michael R. (2021)
    Bispecific antibodie (BsAbs) combine two or more epitope-recognizing sequences into a single protein molecule. The first therapeutic applications of BsAbs were focused on cancer therapy. However, these antibodies have grown to cover a wider disease spectrum, including imaging, diagnosis, prophylaxis, and therapy of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. BsAbs can be categorized into IgG-like formats and non-IgG-like formats. Different technologies have been used for the construction of BsAbs including "CrossMAb", "Quadroma", "knobs-into-holes" and molecular cloning. The mechanism of action for BsAbs includes the induction of CDC, ADCC, ADCP, apoptosis, and recruitment of cell surface receptors, as well as activation or inhibition of signaling pathways. The first clinical trials included mainly leukemia and lymphoma, but solid tumors are now being investigated. The BsAbs bind to a tumor-specific antigen using one epitope, while the second epitope binds to immune cell receptors such as CD3, CD16, CD64, and CD89, with the goal of stimulating the immune response against cancer cells. Currently, over 20 different commercial methods have been developed for the construction of BsAbs. Three BsAbs are currently clinically approved and marketed, and more than 85 clinical trials are in progress. In the present review, we discuss recent trends in the design, engineering, clinical applications, and clinical trials of BsAbs in solid tumors. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Cuesta-Mateos, Carlo; Fuentes, Patricia; Schrader, Alexandra; Juarez-Sanchez, Raquel; Loscertales, Javier; Mateu-Albero, Tamara; Vega-Piris, Lorena; Espartero-Santos, Marina; Marcos-Jimenez, Ana; Sanchez-Lopez, Blanca Andrea; Perez-Garcia, Yaiza; Jungherz, Dennis; Oberbeck, Sebastian; Wahnschaffe, Linus; Kreutzman, Anna; Andersson, Emma I.; Mustjoki, Satu; Faber, Edgar; Urzainqui, Ana; Fresno, Manuel; Stamatakis, Kostantino; Alfranca, Arantzazu; Terron, Fernando; Herling, Marco; Toribio, Maria Luisa; Munoz-Calleja, Cecilia (2020)
    T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a poor prognostic disease with very limited options of efficient therapies. Most patients are refractory to chemotherapies and despite high response rates after alemtuzumab, virtually all patients relapse. Therefore, there is an unmet medical need for novel therapies in T-PLL. As the chemokine receptor CCR7 is a molecule expressed in a wide range of malignancies and relevant in many tumor processes, the present study addressed the biologic role of this receptor in T-PLL. Furthermore, we elucidated the mechanisms of action mediated by an anti-CCR7 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and evaluated whether its anti-tumor activity would warrant development towards clinical applications in T-PLL. Our results demonstrate that CCR7 is a prognostic biomarker for overall survival in T-PLL patients and a functional receptor involved in the migration, invasion, and survival of leukemic cells. Targeting CCR7 with a mAb inhibited ligand-mediated signaling pathways and induced tumor cell killing in primary samples. In addition, directing antibodies against CCR7 was highly effective in T-cell leukemia xenograft models. Together, these findings make CCR7 an attractive molecule for novel mAb-based therapeutic applications in T-PLL, a disease where recent drug screen efforts and studies addressing new compounds have focused on chemotherapy or small molecules.
  • D'Amico, Carmine; Fontana, Flavia; Cheng, Ruoyu; Santos, Hélder A. (2021)
    The current situation, heavily influenced by the ongoing pandemic, puts vaccines back into the spotlight. However, the conventional and traditional vaccines present disadvantages, particularly related to immunogenicity, stability, and storage of the final product. Often, such products require the maintenance of a “cold chain,” impacting the costs, the availability, and the distribution of vaccines. Here, after a recall of the mode of action of vaccines and the types of vaccines currently available, we analyze the past, present, and future of vaccine formulation. The past focuses on conventional formulations, the present discusses the use of nanoparticles for vaccine delivery and as adjuvants, while the future presents microneedle patches as alternative formulation and administration route. Finally, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of injectable solutions, nanovaccines, and microneedles in terms of efficacy, stability, and patient-friendly design.
  • Trautinger, Franz; Eder, Johanna; Assaf, Chalid; Bagot, Martine; Cozzio, Antonio; Dummer, Reinhard; Gniadecki, Robert; Klemke, Claus-Detlev; Ortiz-Romero, Pablo L.; Papadavid, Evangelia; Pimpinelli, Nicola; Quaglino, Pietro; Ranki, Annamari; Scarisbrick, Julia; Stadler, Rudolf; Vakeva, Liisa; Vermeer, Maarten H.; Whittaker, Sean; Willemze, Rein; Knobler, Robert (2017)
    In order to provide a common standard for the treatment of mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sezary syndrome (SS), the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force (EORTC-CLTF) published in 2006 its consensus recommendations for the stage-adapted selection of management options for these neoplasms. Since then, the understanding of the pathophysiology and epidemiology of MF/SS has advanced, the staging system has been revised, new outcome data have been published and novel treatment options have been introduced. The purpose of the present document is to update the original recommendations bearing in mind that there are still only a limited number of controlled studies to support treatment decisions for MF/SS and that often treatment is determined by institutional experience and availability. This consensus on treatment recommendations was established among the authors through a series of consecutive consultations in writing and a round of discussion. Recommended treatment options are presented according to disease stage, whenever possible categorised into first-and second-line options and supported with levels of evidence as devised by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (OCEBM). Skin-directed therapies are still the most appropriate option for early-stage MF, and most patients can look forward to a normal life expectancy. For patients with advanced disease, prognosis is still grim, and only for a highly selected subset of patients, prolonged survival can be achieved with allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). There is a high need for the development and investigation in controlled clinical trials of treatment options that are based on our increasing understanding of the molecular pathology of MF/SS. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Utriainen, Meri; Rämet, Mika (2016)
  • Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Pirkko-Liisa; Bono, Petri (2016)
  • Havunen, Riikka; Heiniö, Camilla; Hemminki, Akseli (2019)
  • Al-Samadi, Ahmed; Poor, Benedek; Tuomainen, Katja; Liu, Ville; Hyytiäinen, Aini; Suleymanova, Ilida; Mesimäki, Karri; Wilkman, Tommy; Mäkitie, Antti; Saavalainen, Paivi; Salo, Tuula (2019)
    Objectives: Immunotherapy and personalized medicine therapeutics are emerging as promising approaches in the management of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In spite of that, there is yet no assay that could predict individual response to immunotherapy. Methods: We manufactured an in vitro 3D microfluidic chip to test the efficacy of immunotherapy. The assay was first tested using a tongue cancer cell line (HSC-3) embedded in a human tumour-derived matrix "Myogel/fibrin" and immune cells from three healthy donors. Next, the chips were used with freshly isolated cancer cells, patients' serum and immune cells. Chips were loaded with different immune checkpoint inhibitors, PD-L1 antibody and IDO 1 inhibitor. Migration of immune cells towards cancer cells and the cancer cell proliferation rate were evaluated. Results: Immune cell migration towards HSC-3 cells was cancer cell density dependent. IDO 1 inhibitor induced immune cells to migrate towards cancer cells both in HSC-3 and in two HNSCC patient samples. Efficacy of PD-L1 antibody and IDO 1 inhibitor was patient dependent. Conclusion: We introduced the first humanized in vitro microfluidic chip assay to test immunotherapeutic drugs against HNSCC patient samples. This assay could be used to predict the efficacy of immunotherapeutic drugs for individual patients.
  • Meri, Seppo; Mustjoki, Satu (2018)
  • Halkola, Anni S.; Parvinen, Kalle; Kasanen, Henna; Mustjoki, Satu; Aittokallio, Tero (2020)
    Each patient’s cancer has a unique molecular makeup, often comprised of distinct cancer cell subpopulations. Improved understanding of dynamic processes between cancer cell populations is therefore critical for making treatment more effective and personalized. It has been shown that immunotherapy increases the survival of melanoma patients. However, there remain critical open questions, such as timing and duration of immunotherapy and its added benefits when combined with other types of treatments. We introduce a model for the dynamics of active killer T-cells and cancer cell subpopulations. Rather than defining the cancer cell populations based on their genetic makeup alone, we consider also other, non-genetic differences that make the cell populations either sensitive or resistant to a therapy. Using the model, we make predictions of possible outcomes of the various treatment strategies in virtual melanoma patients, providing hypotheses regarding therapeutic efficacy and side-effects. It is shown, for instance, that starting immunotherapy with a denser treatment schedule may enable changing to a sparser schedule later during the treatment. Furthermore, combination of targeted and immunotherapy results in a better treatment effect, compared to mono-immunotherapy, and a stable disease can be reached with a patient-tailored combination. These results offer better understanding of the competition between T-cells and cancer cells, toward personalized immunotherapy regimens.
  • Carter, Corey A.; Oronsky, Bryan T.; Roswarski, Joseph; Oronsky, Arnold L.; Oronsky, Neil; Scicinski, Jan; Lybeck, Harry; Kim, Michelle M.; Lybeck, Michelle; Reid, Tony R. (2017)
    Checkpoint inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies that inhibit PD-1 or CTLA-4, have revolutionized the treatment of multiple cancers. Despite the enthusiasm for the clinical successes of checkpoint inhibitors, and immunotherapy, in general, only a minority of patients with specific tumor types actually benefit from treatment. Emerging evidence implicates epigenetic alterations as a mechanism of clinical resistance to immunotherapy. This review presents evidence for that association, summarizes the epi-based mechanisms by which tumors evade immunogenic cell death, discusses epigenetic modulation as a component of an integrated strategy to boost anticancer T cell effector function in relation to a tumor immunosuppression cycle and, finally, makes the case that the success of this no-patient-left-behind strategy critically depends on the toxicity profile of the epigenetic agent(s).
  • Capasso, Cristian; Hirvinen, Mari; Garofalo, Mariangela; Romaniuk, Dmitrii; Kuryk, Lukasz; Sarvela, Teea; Vitale, Andrea; Antopolsky, Maxim; Magarkar, Aniket; Viitala, Tapani; Suutari, Teemu; Bunker, Alex; Yliperttula, Marjo; Urtti, Arto; Cerullo, Vincenzo (2016)
    The stimulation of the immune system using oncolytic adenoviruses (OAds) has attracted significant interest and several studies suggested that OAd´s immunogenicity might be important for their efficacy. Therefore, we developed a versatile and rapid system to adsorb tumor-specific major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) peptides onto the viral surface to drive the immune response towards the tumor-epitopes. By studying the model epitope SIINFEKL we demonstrated that the peptide-coated OAd (PeptiCRAd) retains its infectivity and the cross-presentation of the modified-exogenous epitope on MHC-I is not hindered. We then showed that the SIINFEKL-targeting PeptiCRAd achieves a superior anti-tumor efficacy and increases the percentage of anti-tumor CD8+ T-cells and mature epitope-specific dendritic cells in vivo. PeptiCRAds loaded with clinically relevant tumor epitopes derived from tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP-2) and human gp100 could reduce the growth of primary-treated tumors and secondary-untreated melanomas, promoting the expansion of antigen-specific T-cell populations. Finally, we tested PeptiCRAd in humanized mice bearing human melanomas. In this model, a PeptiCRAd targeting the human melanoma-associated antigen A1 (MAGE-A1) and expressing granulocyte and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) was able to eradicate established tumors and increased the human MAGE-A1-specific CD8+ T-cell population. Herein we show that the immunogenicity of OAds plays a key role in their efficacy and it can be exploited to direct the immune response system towards exogenous tumor epitopes. This versatile and rapid system overcomes the immunodominance of the virus and elicits a tumor-specific immune response, making PeptiCRAd a promising approach for clinical testing.
  • Hemminki, Otto; dos Santos, Joao Manuel; Hemminki, Akseli (2020)
    In this review, we discuss the use of oncolytic viruses in cancer immunotherapy treatments in general, with a particular focus on adenoviruses. These serve as a model to elucidate how versatile viruses are, and how they can be used to complement other cancer therapies to gain optimal patient benefits. Historical reports from over a hundred years suggest treatment efficacy and safety with adenovirus and other oncolytic viruses. This is confirmed in more contemporary patient series and multiple clinical trials. Yet, while the first viruses have already been granted approval from several regulatory authorities, room for improvement remains. As good safety and tolerability have been seen, the oncolytic virus field has now moved on to increase efficacy in a wide array of approaches. Adding different immunomodulatory transgenes to the viruses is one strategy gaining momentum. Immunostimulatory molecules can thus be produced at the tumor with reduced systemic side effects. On the other hand, preclinical work suggests additive or synergistic effects with conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition, the newly introduced checkpoint inhibitors and other immunomodulatory drugs could make perfect companions to oncolytic viruses. Especially tumors that seem not to be recognized by the immune system can be made immunogenic by oncolytic viruses. Logically, the combination with checkpoint inhibitors is being evaluated in ongoing trials. Another promising avenue is modulating the tumor microenvironment with oncolytic viruses to allow T cell therapies to work in solid tumors. Oncolytic viruses could be the next remarkable wave in cancer immunotherapy.
  • Hemminki, Otto; dos Santos, João M; Hemminki, Akseli (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract In this review, we discuss the use of oncolytic viruses in cancer immunotherapy treatments in general, with a particular focus on adenoviruses. These serve as a model to elucidate how versatile viruses are, and how they can be used to complement other cancer therapies to gain optimal patient benefits. Historical reports from over a hundred years suggest treatment efficacy and safety with adenovirus and other oncolytic viruses. This is confirmed in more contemporary patient series and multiple clinical trials. Yet, while the first viruses have already been granted approval from several regulatory authorities, room for improvement remains. As good safety and tolerability have been seen, the oncolytic virus field has now moved on to increase efficacy in a wide array of approaches. Adding different immunomodulatory transgenes to the viruses is one strategy gaining momentum. Immunostimulatory molecules can thus be produced at the tumor with reduced systemic side effects. On the other hand, preclinical work suggests additive or synergistic effects with conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition, the newly introduced checkpoint inhibitors and other immunomodulatory drugs could make perfect companions to oncolytic viruses. Especially tumors that seem not to be recognized by the immune system can be made immunogenic by oncolytic viruses. Logically, the combination with checkpoint inhibitors is being evaluated in ongoing trials. Another promising avenue is modulating the tumor microenvironment with oncolytic viruses to allow T cell therapies to work in solid tumors. Oncolytic viruses could be the next remarkable wave in cancer immunotherapy.
  • Brzezniak, Christina; Oronsky, Bryan; Trepel, Jane; Summers, Thomas A.; Cabrales, Pedro; Lee, Min-Jung; Day, Regina; Jha, Saheli; Caroen, Scott; Zeman, Karen; Ferry, Lindsey; Harmer, Cindy; Oronsky, Neil; Lybeck, Michelle; Lybeck, Harry E.; Brown, James F.; Reid, Tony R.; Carter, Corey A. (2017)
    Small cell carcinoma of the vagina is rare, so rare in fact that the total number reported in English-language journals is less than 30. Due to this extremely low incidence, no specific treatment guidelines have been established, and most of what is clinically known is derived from a handful of single case reports. However, as befitting its highly aggressive histologic features, which are reminiscent of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), first-line treatment is modeled after SCLC. Herein is reported the case of a 51-year-old African-American patient with metastatic biopsy-proven small cell carcinoma of the vagina that progressed through multiple therapies: first-line cisplatin and etoposide (making it platinum-resistant) and radiotherapy, followed by the tumor macrophage-stimulating agent RRx-001 in a clinical trial called QUADRUPLE THREAT, which per protocol preceded a mandated rechallenge with cisplatin and etoposide. RECIST v.1.1 tumor progression on both RRx-001 and cisplatin/etoposide was accompanied by central necrosis in several of the enlarged lymph nodes and hepatic metastases, which may have been evidence of pseudoprogression, accounting for her ongoing longer-than-expected survival, since the necrotic tissue may have primed the activity of the PD-1 inhibitor. The lack of response to RRx-001 is hypothesized to have correlated with sparse tumor macrophage infiltration, seen on pre-and post-treatment biopsies, since the mechanism of action of RRx-001 relates to stimulation of tumor-associated macrophages. (C) 2017 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel
  • Auvray, Marie; Auclin, Edouard; Barthelemy, Philippe; Bono, Petri; Kellokumpu-Lehtinen, Pirkko; Gross-Goupil, Marine; De Velasco, Guillettno; Powles, Thomas; Mouillet, Guillaume; Vano, Yann-Alexandre; Gravis, Gwenaelle; Mourey, Loic; Priou, Franck; Rolland, Frederic; Escudier, Bernard; Albiges, Laurence (2019)
    Background: Nivolumab-ipilimumab demonstrated a survival benefit over sunitinib in first-line setting for metastatic renal cell carcinomas (mRCCs) and is becoming a new standard of care for naive patients with intermediate or poor risk prognosis (International mRCC Database Consortium). The efficacy of subsequent vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) after nivolumab-ipilimumab failure remains unclear. Methods: Medical records of mRCC patients treated with nivolumab-ipilimumab, who received subsequent TKI, as part of Checkmate 214 study were reviewed in 13 institutions. Baseline characteristics, outcome data including progression-free survival (PFS), response, overall survival (OS) and toxicities were retrospectively collected. Results: Overall 33 patients received subsequent TKI after nivolumab-ipilimumab failure. Median follow-up from start of subsequent TKI is 22 months (19-NR). Best response was assessed in 30 patients: 12 partial responses (36%), 13 stable diseases (39%) and five progressive diseases (15%). Median PFS from start of TKI was 8 months [5-13]. Median PFS with first-generation (sunitinib/pazopanib) and second-generation TKI (axitinib/cabozantinib) was 8 months [5-16] and 7 months (5-NA), respectively. PFS in second line was significantly longer in patients with a long first-line duration of response to the double immune checkpoint blockade (>= 6 months) with 8 versus 5 months for short responder (= 3. Conclusion: This is the first report of outcomes with TKI, after first-line nivolumab-ipilimumab failure. Median PFS suggests a sustained benefit of TKI and supports trials investigating the optimal sequence. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Brück, Oscar; Keränen, Mikko; Dufva, Olli; Kreutzman, Anna; Mustjoki, Satu (2016)
  • Harper, Diane M.; Nieminen, Pekka; Donders, Gilbert; Einstein, Mark H.; Garcia, Francisco; Huh, Warner K.; Stoler, Mark H.; Glavini, Katerina; Attley, Gemma; Limacher, Jean-Marc; Bastien, Berangere; Calleja, Elizabeth (2019)
    Background. While prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination exists, women are still developing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 or 3 for which an immunotherapeutic, non-surgical, approach may be effective. The primary aim was to assess the efficacy of tipapkinogen sovacivec (TS) vaccine in achieving histologic resolution of CIN2/3 associated with high risk (HR) HPV types. Methods. Women 18 years and older who had confirmed CIN2/3 were enrolled in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled phase II trial and assigned to drug in a 2:1 ratio (vaccine:placebo). The primary endpoint occurred at month 6 when the excisional therapy was performed; cytology and HR HPV typing were performed at months 3, 6 and every six months through month 30. The safety population included all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. Results. Of the 129 women randomized to vaccine and 63 to placebo, complete resolution was significantly higher in the vaccine group than placebo for CIN 2/3 regardless of the 13 HR HPV types assayed (24% vs. 10%, p <0.05); as well as for only CIN 3 also regardless of HR HPV type (21% vs. 0%, p <0.01). Irrespective of baseline HPV infection, viral DNA clearance was higher in the vaccine group compared to placebo (p <0.01). The vaccine was well tolerated with the most common adverse events being injection site reactions. Conclusions. The TS vaccine provides histologic clearance of CIN 2/3 irrespective of HR HPV type in one third of subjects and is generally safe through 30 months. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Cervera-Carrascon, V.; Siurala, M.; Santos, J. M.; Havunen, R.; Tähtinen, S.; Karell, P.; Sorsa, S.; Kanerva, A.; Hemminki, A. (2018)
    Releasing the patient's immune system against their own malignancy by the use of checkpoint inhibitors is delivering promising results. However, only a subset of patients currently benefit from them. One major limitation of these therapies relates to the inability of T cells to detect or penetrate into the tumor resulting in unresponsiveness to checkpoint inhibition. Virotherapy is an attractive tool for enabling checkpoint inhibitors as viruses are naturally recognized by innate defense elements which draws the attention of the immune system. Besides their intrinsic immune stimulating properties, the adenoviruses used here are armed to express tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) and interleukin-2 (IL-2). These cytokines result in immunological danger signaling and multiple appealing T-cell effects, including trafficking, activation and propagation. When these viruses were injected into B16.OVA melanoma tumors in animals concomitantly receiving programmed cell-death protein 1 (PD-1) blocking antibodies both tumor growth control (p <0.0001) and overall survival (p <0.01) were improved. In this set-up, the addition of adoptive cell therapy with OT-I lymphocytes did not increase efficacy further. When virus injections were initiated before antibody treatment in a prime-boost approach, 100% of tumors regressed completely and all mice survived. Viral expression of IL2 and TNFa altered the cytokine balance in the tumor microenvironment towards Th1 and increased the intratumoral proportion of CD8+ and conventional CD4+ T cells. These preclinical studies provide the rationale and schedule for a clinical trial where oncolytic adenovirus coding for TNFa and IL-2 (TILT-123) is used in melanoma patients receiving an anti-PD-1 antibody.