Dendritic Cells Enhance Polyfunctionality of Adoptively Transferred T Cells That Target Cytomegalovirus in Glioblastoma.


Journal Article

Median survival for glioblastoma (GBM) remains <15 months. Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigens have been identified in GBM but not normal brain, providing an unparalleled opportunity to subvert CMV antigens as tumor-specific immunotherapy targets. A recent trial in recurrent GBM patients demonstrated the potential clinical benefit of adoptive T-cell therapy (ATCT) of CMV phosphoprotein 65 (pp65)-specific T cells. However, ex vivo analyses from this study found no change in the capacity of CMV pp65-specific T cells to gain multiple effector functions or polyfunctionality, which has been associated with superior antitumor efficacy. Previous studies have shown that dendritic cells (DC) could further enhance tumor-specific CD8+ T-cell polyfunctionality in vivo when administered as a vaccine. Therefore, we hypothesized that vaccination with CMV pp65 RNA-loaded DCs would enhance the frequency of polyfunctional CMV pp65-specific CD8+ T cells after ATCT. Here, we report prospective results of a pilot trial in which 22 patients with newly diagnosed GBM were initially enrolled, of which 17 patients were randomized to receive CMV pp65-specific T cells with CMV-DC vaccination (CMV-ATCT-DC) or saline (CMV-ATCT-saline). Patients who received CMV-ATCT-DC vaccination experienced a significant increase in the overall frequencies of IFNγ+, TNFα+, and CCL3+ polyfunctional, CMV-specific CD8+ T cells. These increases in polyfunctional CMV-specific CD8+ T cells correlated (R = 0.7371, P = 0.0369) with overall survival, although we cannot conclude this was causally related. Our data implicate polyfunctional T-cell responses as a potential biomarker for effective antitumor immunotherapy and support a formal assessment of this combination approach in a larger randomized study.Significance: A randomized pilot trial in patients with GBM implicates polyfunctional T-cell responses as a biomarker for effective antitumor immunotherapy. Cancer Res; 78(1); 256-64. ©2017 AACR.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Reap, EA; Suryadevara, CM; Batich, KA; Sanchez-Perez, L; Archer, GE; Schmittling, RJ; Norberg, PK; Herndon, JE; Healy, P; Congdon, KL; Gedeon, PC; Campbell, OC; Swartz, AM; Riccione, KA; Yi, JS; Hossain-Ibrahim, MK; Saraswathula, A; Nair, SK; Dunn-Pirio, AM; Broome, TM; Weinhold, KJ; Desjardins, A; Vlahovic, G; McLendon, RE; Friedman, AH; Friedman, HS; Bigner, DD; Fecci, PE; Mitchell, DA; Sampson, JH

Published Date

  • January 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 78 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 256 - 264

PubMed ID

  • 29093005

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29093005

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-7445

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0469


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States