IL-7 expands lymphocyte populations and enhances immune responses to sipuleucel-T in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
(Journal Article;Multicenter Study)
BACKGROUND: Sipuleucel-T (sip-T) is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved autologous cellular immunotherapy for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). We hypothesized that combining sip-T with interleukin (IL)-7, a homeostatic cytokine that enhances both B and T cell development and proliferation, would augment and prolong antigen-specific immune responses against both PA2024 (the immunogen for sip-T) and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP). METHODS: Fifty-four patients with mCRPC treated with sip-T were subsequently enrolled and randomized 1:1 into observation (n=26) or IL-7 (n=28) arms of a phase II clinical trial (NCT01881867). Recombinant human (rh) IL-7 (CYT107) was given weekly×4. Immune responses were evaluated using flow cytometry, mass cytometry (CyTOF), interferon (IFN)-γ ELISpot, 3H-thymidine incorporation, and ELISA. RESULTS: Treatment with rhIL-7 was well tolerated. For the rhIL-7-treated, but not observation group, statistically significant lymphocyte subset expansion was found, with 2.3-2.6-fold increases in CD4+T, CD8+T, and CD56bright NK cells at week 6 compared with baseline. No significant differences in PA2024 or PAP-specific T cell responses measured by IFN-γ ELISpot assay were found between rhIL-7 and observation groups. However, antigen-specific T cell proliferative responses and humoral IgG and IgG/IgM responses significantly increased over time in the rhIL-7-treated group only. CyTOF analyses revealed pleiotropic effects of rhIL-7 on lymphocyte subsets, including increases in CD137 and intracellular IL-2 and IFN-γ expression. While not powered to detect clinical outcomes, we found that 31% of patients in the rhIL-7 group had prostate specific antigen (PSA) doubling times of >6 months, compared with 14% in the observation group. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with rhIL-7 led to a significant expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and CD56bright natural killer (NK) cells compared with observation after treatment with sip-T. The rhIL-7 treatment also led to improved antigen-specific humoral and T cell proliferative responses over time as well as to increased expression of activation markers and beneficial cytokines. This is the first study to evaluate the use of rhIL-7 after sip-T in patients with mCRPC and demonstrates encouraging results for combination approaches to augment beneficial immune responses.
Pachynski, RK; Morishima, C; Szmulewitz, R; Harshman, L; Appleman, L; Monk, P; Bitting, RL; Kucuk, O; Millard, F; Seigne, JD; Fling, SP; Maecker, HT; Duault, C; Ramchurren, N; Hess, B; D'Amico, L; Lacroix, A; Kaiser, JC; Morre, M; Grégoire, A; Cheever, M; Yu, EY; Fong, L
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