Gene and Vaccine Therapy in Treating Patients with Advanced Malignancies

Status: Active


This phase IIa trial studies how well gene therapy and vaccine therapy work in treating patients with cancers that have spread to other places in the body and usually cannot be cured or controlled with treatment (advanced) undergoing stem cell transplant. Placing a gene that has been created in the laboratory into white blood cells may make the body build an immune response to kill cancer cells. Vaccines made from peptides may help the body build an effective immune response to kill tumor cells.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

  • Stage IV or locally advanced cancers for which no alternative therapies with proven survival advantage are available
  • At least 1 lesion amenable for an outpatient biopsy; this should be a cutaneous or palpable metastatic site or a deeper site accessible by image-guided biopsy that is deemed safe to access by the treating physicians and interventional radiologists; patients without accessible lesions for biopsy but with prior tissue available from metastatic disease would be eligible at the investigator's discretion
  • NY-ESO-1 positive malignancy by immunohistochemistry (IHC) utilizing commonly available NY-ESO-1 antibodies
  • Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 (HLA-A2.1) positivity by molecular subtyping
  • Life expectancy greater than 3 months assessed by a study physician
  • A minimum of one measurable lesion defined as: * Meeting the criteria for measurable disease according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST)
  • For patients with skin metastases, lesions selected as non-completely biopsied target lesion(s) that can be accurately measured and recorded by color photography with a ruler to document the size of the target lesion(s)
  • No restriction based on prior treatments
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) 0 or 1
  • Absolute neutrophil count >= 1.5 x 10^9 cells/L
  • Platelets >= 100 x 10^9/L
  • Hemoglobin >= 10 g/dL
  • Aspartate and alanine aminotransferases (AST, ALT) =< 2.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) (=< 5 x ULN, if documented liver metastases are present)
  • Total bilirubin =< 2 x ULN (except patients with documented Gilbert's syndrome)
  • Creatinine < 2 mg/dl (or a glomerular filtration rate > 60 mL/min)
  • Must be willing and able to accept at least two leukapheresis procedures
  • Must be willing and able to accept at least two tumor biopsies
  • Must be willing and able to provide written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria

  • Previously known hypersensitivity to any of the agents used in this study
  • Received systemic treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy, within one month prior to initiation of dosing within this protocol; however, cell harvesting by leukapheresis may be performed before one month from prior therapy if the study investigators consider that it will not have a detrimental impact on the generation of the two cell therapies in this protocol
  • History of, or significant evidence of risk for, chronic inflammatory or autoimmune disease (eg, Addison's disease, multiple sclerosis, Graves disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, hypophysitis, pituitary disorders, etc.); patients will be eligible if prior autoimmune disease is not deemed to be active (example [e.x.]: fibrotic damage of the thyroid after thyroiditis or its treatment, with stable thyroid hormone replacement therapy); vitiligo will not be a basis for exclusion
  • History of inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, or other chronic gastrointestinal conditions associated with diarrhea or bleeding, or current acute colitis of any origin
  • Potential requirement for systemic corticosteroids or concurrent immunosuppressive drugs based on prior history or received systemic steroids within the last 4 weeks prior to enrollment (inhaled or topical steroids at standard doses are allowed)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity or other congenital or acquired immune deficiency state, which would increase the risk of opportunistic infections and other complications during chemotherapy-induced lymphodepletion; if there is a positive result in the infectious disease testing that was not previously known, the patient will be referred to their primary physician and/or infectious disease specialist
  • Hepatitis B or C seropositivity with evidence of ongoing liver damage, which would increase the likelihood of hepatic toxicities from the chemotherapy conditioning regimen and supportive treatments; if there is a positive result in the infectious disease testing that was not previously known, the patient will be referred to their primary physician and/or infectious disease specialist
  • Dementia or significantly altered mental status that would prohibit the understanding or rendering of informed consent and compliance with the requirements of this protocol
  • Clinically active brain metastases; radiological documentation of absence of active brain metastases at screening is required for all patients; prior evidence of brain metastasis successfully treated with surgery or radiation therapy will not be exclusion for participation as long as they are deemed under control at the time of study enrollment
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding; female patients must be surgically sterile or be postmenopausal for two years, or must agree to use effective contraception during the period of treatment and 6 months after; all female patients with reproductive potential must have a negative pregnancy test (serum/urine) within 14 days from starting the conditioning chemotherapy; the definition of effective contraception will be based on the judgment of the study investigators
  • Since IL-2 is administered following cell infusion: * Patients will be excluded if they have a history of clinically significant electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities, symptoms of cardiac ischemia or arrhythmias and have a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < 45% on a cardiac stress test (stress thallium, stress multigated acquisition scan [MUGA], dobutamine echocardiogram, or other stress test) * Similarly, patients who are 50 years old with a baseline LVEF < 45% will be excluded * Patients with ECG results of any conduction delays (PR interval > 200 ms, corrected QT interval [QTC] > 480 ms), sinus bradycardia (resting heart rate < 50 beats per minute), sinus tachycardia (heart rate [HR] > 120 beats per minute) will be evaluated by a cardiologist prior to starting the trial; patients with any arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter, excessive ectopy (defined as > 20 premature ventricular contractions [PVCs] per minute), ventricular tachycardia, third (3rd) degree heart block will be excluded from the study unless cleared by a cardiologist * Patients with pulmonary function test abnormalities as evidenced by a forced ejection volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) < 70% of predicted for normality will be excluded
  • Received 3 or more prior myelotoxic treatment regimens
  • Bone marrow involvement based on computed tomography (CT) or PET scan at screening

Locations & Contacts


Los Angeles
UCLA / Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Status: Active
Contact: Arun Dev Singh
Phone: 310-829-5471

Trial Objectives and Outline


I. To evaluate whether NY-ESO-1 T cell receptor transduced autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) (up to 1x10^9 cells) along with an NY-ESO-1 dendritic cell vaccine and low dose interleukin (IL)-2 can be safely administered to patients with advanced malignancies.

II. To evaluate the feasibility of delivering two patient-specific cell therapies, the NY-ESO-1 TCR transgenic peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) and NY-ESO-1 (157-165) peptide pulsed dendritic cells (DC), within study design that requires other significant interventions, like a lymphodepleting conditioning regimen and post-infusion of subcutaneous low dose interleukin (IL)-2 (aldesleukin).

III. To determine the rate of objective tumor responses, by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) objective response criteria.


I. To determine the persistence of NY-ESO-1 TCR-engineered PBMC in serial peripheral blood samples and in biopsies of accessible cancer lesions.

II. To explore the use of positron emission tomography (PET)-based imaging using the PET tracer fluorodeoxyglucose F18 (18F FDG) with the goal of determining if the adoptively transferred NY-ESO-1 T cell receptor (TCR)-engineered PBMC home and expand in secondary lymphoid organs and tumor deposits.


CONDITIONING: Patients receive cyclophosphamide intravenously (IV) over 1 hour on days -5 to -4 and fludarabine phosphate IV over 30 minutes on days -4 to -1.

NY-ESO-1 TCR PBMC: Patients receive NY-ESO-1 TCR transduced autologous PBMC IV on day 0. Patients also receive NY-ESO-1 (157-165) peptide pulsed dendritic cell vaccine therapy intradermally (ID) on days 1, 14, and 30 and aldesleukin subcutaneously (SC) twice daily (BID) on days 1-7. Patients may receive 3 additional doses of NY-ESO-1 (157-165) peptide pulsed dendritic cell vaccine therapy after day 90.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up at 30, 45, 60, and 75 days; every 3 months for 2 years; every 6 months for 3 years; and annually thereafter.

Trial Phase & Type

Trial Phase

Phase II

Trial Type


Lead Organization

Lead Organization
UCLA / Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Principal Investigator
Arun Dev Singh

Trial IDs

Primary ID 12-000153
Secondary IDs NCI-2012-01548 ID NCT01697527