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Anti-PD-L1 / TGF-beta Trap (M7824) Alone and in Combination With TriAd Vaccine and N-803 for Resectable Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Not Associated With Human Papillomavirus Infection

Trial Status: Active

Background: Some people who get head and neck cancer will need surgery to treat their cancer. Research suggests that immunotherapy drugs may help fight head and neck cancer if given before surgery. In most cases, there is enough time between cancer diagnosis and surgery to test immunotherapy drugs. In this study, researchers are testing the safety and anti-cancer abilities of 3 drugs given before surgery for head and neck cancer. Objective: To learn if giving M7824 alone, or with the TriAd vaccine, or with TriAd vaccine plus N-803 can shrink previously untreated head and neck tumors before surgery or stop the tumors from coming back after all treatment. Eligibility: People age 18 and older who have a head and neck cancer that has not been treated before, and the tumor must be removed with surgery. Design: Participants will be screened in a separate protocol. Participants will have the following tests: - medical history and physical exams - computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans - tumor, mucosa, and skin biopsies - electrocardiograms to monitor heart activity - endoscopies (a tube is inserted through the nose to see the upper airway) - blood and urine tests. All participants will get M7824 through an intravenous infusion. For this, a small plastic tube is put into an arm vein. Some may also get the TriAd vaccine. It is injected under the skin on the arms or legs. Some may also get N-803. It is injected under the skin on the stomach. Participants will have clinic visits while they are getting treatment and after treatment ends. After treatment ends, participants will have their scheduled surgery. There will be two follow up visits at the NIH after your surgery. They will be contacted by phone or email every 2 weeks for 3 months. Then they will be contacted every 3 months for 2 years. ...

Inclusion Criteria

  • - INCLUSION CRITERIA: - Patients must have histologically or cytologically confirmed, previously untreated intermediate/high risk, p16-negative (if oropharyngeal primary tumor), squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (T1-T4, N0-N3, M0 stage II, III or IV). - Male or female; Age greater than or equal to 18 years. - ECOG performance status less than or equal to 1. - Prothombin time (PT) and partial thromboplastin time (PTT) within normal institutional limits. Patients with prolonged PTT determined to be due to lupus anticoagulant will not be excluded. - Patients must have adequate organ and marrow function as defined below: - Absolute neutrophil count greater than or equal to 1000/mcL - Platelets greater than or equal to 100,000/mcL - Hemoglobin greater than or equal to 10.0 g/dL - Total bilirubin within normal institutiona l limits; in patients with Gilbert s, less than or equal to 3.0 mg/dL - AST (AGOT)/ALT (AGPT) less than or equal to 3X upper limit of normal. - Creatinine within 1.5X upper limit of normal institutional limits - The effects of M7824, TriAd vaccines, and N-803 on the developing human fetus are unknown. For this reason, men and women of child bearing capacity must agree to use highly-effective contraception (hormonal or barrier method of birth control; abstinence) prior to study entry, during the study and maintain such contraception until 2 months following the last dose of any study agent. Should a woman become pregnant or suspect she is pregnant while she or her partner is participating in this study, she should inform her treating physician immediately. - Ability of subject to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document - Patients with successfully treated hepatitis C virus (HCV) are eligible if HCV viral load is undetectable. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: - Patients who are immunocompromised as follows: - Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive patients not on or not compliant with appropriate anti-retroviral therapy, patients with newly diagnosed (i.e. < 6 months) HIV, patients with an HIV viral load exceeding 400 copies/mL, HIV+ patients with a CD4 count < 150 cells/ L, and HIV+ patients on antiretroviral therapy < 1 month are excluded. HIV-positive patients will also be excluded if the PI determines that there is a clinically significant drug-drug interaction. - Chronic administration (defined as daily or every other day for continued use >14 days) of systemic corticosteroids or other immune suppressive drugs, within 14 days before treatment on study. Physiologic daily dosing of steroids is allowed. Nasal, or inhaled steroid, topical steroid creams and eye drops for small body areas are allowed. - Patients who have undergone allogeneic peripheral stem cell transplantation, or solid organ transplantation requiring immunosuppression - Pregnant women are excluded from this study because M7824 is an agent with the potential for teratogenic or abortifacient effects. Because there is an unknown but potential risk for adverse events in nursing infants secondary to treatment of the mother with M7824 breastfeeding should be discontinued if the mother is treated with M7824. These potential risks may also apply to other agents used in this study. - Patients with active systemic autoimmune disease, except patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, vitiligo, psoriasis, hypo- or hyperthyroid disease not requiring current immunosuppression, or with other endocrine disorders on replacement hormones, are not excluded if the condition is well controlled. - History of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic composition to study agents to be used in the cohort the subject will be enrolled into. - Known allergy to eggs, egg products, aminoglycoside antibiotics (for example, gentamicin or tobramycin). Patients enrolling on the M7824 only arm will be exempt from this exclusion. - Patients with a history of bleeding diathesis or recent clinically significant bleeding events considered by the Investigator as high risk for investigational drug treatment are excluded. - Any condition which, in the opinion of the investigator, would prevent full participation in this trial (including the long-term follow-up), or would interfere with the evaluation of the trial endpoints. - Patients with prior live vaccine, investigational drug, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or any prior radiotherapy (except for palliative bone directed therapy) within the past 28 days prior to enrollment. - Uncontrolled intercurrent acute or chronic illness including, but not limited to, ongoing or active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure (>New York Heart Association Class I), hepatic disease, unstable angina pectoris, serious cardiac arrhythmia, requiring medication, uncontrolled hypertension (SBP>170/ DBP>105) or psychiatric illness/social situations within 12 months that would limit compliance with study requirements. - Patients who have undergone major surgery within 4 weeks prior to enrollment. A biopsy will not preclude a patient from starting study. - Patients with a history of hepatitis B (HBV) are excluded due to potential risk for viral reactivation and resulting liver injury in persons with latent HBV. - Patients with treated or active brain metastases are not eligible because we are enrolling non-metastatic head and neck cancer patients in this trial. Standard of care treatment is different for head and neck cancer patients with and without metastatic disease.


National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: National Cancer Institute Referral Office
Phone: 888-624-1937


- Approximately 50% of patients with advanced p16-negative head and neck squamous cell

carcinoma (HNSCC) will develop locoregional or distant relapse within two years of

completing definitive standard-of-care treatment.

- Two ongoing clinical trials investigating neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade before surgical

resection of HNSCC suggest that immunotherapy can both cytoreduce existing disease

before surgery and reduce the risk of locoregional or distant disease relapse after


- Preliminary data from these studies suggest neoadjuvant treatments can be administered

without delaying planned surgical intervention.

- Experiments conducted by the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology (LTIB)

demonstrated synergistic activity with tumor-targeted adenoviral vaccine plus M7824 plus

N-803 in humanized mice bearing human carcinomas and in vitro studies.

- M7824 is a bifunctional fusion protein consisting of an anti-programmed death ligand

1(PD-L1) antibody and the extracellular domain of transforming growth factor beta

(TGF-beta) receptor type 2, a TGF-beta trap.

- Adenoviral vaccines targeting known shared tumor antigens can generate antigen-specific

T cells.

- N-803 is an IL-15/IL-15R alpha super agonist complex that can enhance both NK cell and T

cell anti-tumor activity via expansion and activation.

- Activity observed with neoadjuvant anti-PD-1 agents alone provides rationale for testing

of M7824 alone and in combination with other immune oncologic agents that have been

shown to work in concert with M7824 in preclinical studies.

- Analysis of pre- and post-treatment tissues from HNSCC patients presents a unique

opportunity to interrogate the effects the above treatment(s) on tumor.

- A dose escalation of N-803 in combination with a flat dose of M7824 was conducted at the

National Cancer Institute. Thirteen patients have been treated with the combination. No

DLTs were observed.


-Determine the rate of pathologic complete response (pCR) or clinical-to-pathological

downstaging in patients with previously untreated intermediate/high risk, non-HPV associated,

squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (T1-T4, N0-N3, M0 stage II, III or IV) who

receive any of the three proposed treatments: M7824 alone, M7824 plus TriAd vaccine, or M7824

plus TriAd vaccine plus N803 prior to definite surgery.


- Patients must have histologically or cytologically confirmed, previously untreated

intermediate/high risk, p16-negative (if oropharyngeal), squamous cell carcinoma of the

head and neck (T1-T4, N0-N3, M0 stage II, III or IV)

- Men or Women; Age greater than or equal to 18 years

- ECOG performance status less than or equal to 1


- This protocol is a sequential window of opportunity trial of Anti-PD-L1/TGF-beta trap

(M7824) alone and in combination with TriAd Vaccine and N-803 for non-HPV associated

resectable Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC).

- Patients will be referred to the NIH for this immunotherapy treatment from surrounding

academic medical centers and private physicians.

- Upon referral to the NIH, patients will be rapidly screened, and enrolled on the

protocol, if appropriate.

- This trial will enroll patients in three arms sequentially to permit safety evaluation

before adding the next agent.

- In the first arm of 12 patients, M7824 (1200 mg) will be administered intravenously on

day 1 and 15.

- If no safety concerns, accrual will proceed to the 2nd arm, and 12 patients will enroll

with M7824 (1200mg; intravenous) treatment on day 1 and 15 and TriAd vaccine (5 x 10

(11) VP; subcutaneous) treatment on day 1 only.

- If no safety concerns, accrual will proceed to the 3rd arm, and 12 patients will enroll

with M7824 ((1200mg; intravenous) treatment on day 1 and 15 plus TriAd vaccine (5 x

10(11) VP; subcutaneous injection) and N-803 (15mcg/kg, subcutaneously) treatment on day


- After obtaining pre-treatment biopsies, imaging and blood collection, patients will

receive the neoadjuvant immunotherapy at the NIH Clinical Center.

- Patients will then be sent back to their referring providers for their definitive

standard of care surgery and adjuvant therapy as indicated based upon pathologic

analysis of the surgical specimen. NCI investigators will have no role in directing the

ensuing standard of care surgeries performed at outside institutions.

- For consistency in pathologic analysis of resection specimens, tissue blocks and/or

slides will be obtained from outside institutions and be reviewed by the NCI Laboratory

of Pathology.

- It is expected that up to 20 patients may enroll in one year. Thus, with 3 arms of 12

patients apiece, up to 36 evaluable patients may enroll. Accrual is expected to be

completed within 2 years.

Trial Phase Phase I/II

Trial Type Treatment

Lead Organization
National Cancer Institute

Principal Investigator
Jason M. Redman

  • Primary ID 200024
  • Secondary IDs NCI-2020-00736, 20-C-0024
  • ID NCT04247282