Background: We previously reported that survivin-2B, a splicing variant of survivin, was expressed in various types of tumors and that survivin-2B peptide might serve as a potent immunogenic cancer vaccine. The objective of this study was to examine the toxicity of and to clinically and immunologically evaluate survivin-2B peptide in a phase I clinical study for patients with advanced or recurrent breast cancer. Methods: We set up two protocols. In the first protocol, 10 patients were vaccinated with escalating doses (0.1-1.0 mg) of survivin-2B peptide alone 4 times every 2 weeks. In the second protocol, 4 patients were vaccinated with the peptide at a dose of 1.0 mg mixed with IFA 4 times every 2 weeks. Results: In the first protocol, no adverse events were observed during or after vaccination. In the second protocol, two patients had induration at the injection site. One patient had general malaise (grade 1), and another had general malaise (grade 1) and fever (grade 1). Peptide vaccination was well tolerated in all patients. In the first protocol, tumor marker levels increased in 8 patients, slightly decreased in 1 patient and were within the normal range during this clinical trial in 1 patient. With regard to tumor size, two patients were considered to have stable disease (SD). Immunologically, in 3 of the 10 patients (30%), an increase of the peptide-specific CTL frequency was detected. In the second protocol, an increase of the peptide-specific CTL frequency was detected in all 4 patients (100%), although there were no significant beneficial clinical responses. ELISPOT assay showed peptide-specific IFN-γ responses in 2 patients in whom the peptide-specific CTL frequency in tetramer staining also was increased in both protocols. Conclusion: This phase I clinical study revealed that survivin-2B peptide vaccination was well tolerated. The vaccination with survivin-2B peptide mixed with IFA increased the frequency of peptide-specific CTL more effectively than vaccination with the peptide alone, although neither vaccination could induce efficient clinical responses. Considering the above, the addition of another effectual adjuvant such as a cytokine, heat shock protein, etc. to the vaccination with survivin-2B peptide mixed with IFA might induce improved immunological and clinical responses. © 2008 Tsuruma et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Tsuruma, T., Iwayama, Y., Ohmura, T., Katsuramaki, T., Hata, F., Furuhata, T., … Hirata, K. (2008). Clinical and immunological evaluation of anti-apoptosis protein, survivin-derived peptide vaccine in phase I clinical study for patients with advanced or recurrent breast cancer. Journal of Translational Medicine, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-6-24