The following article features coverage from the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2018 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

A dendritic cell (DC) vaccine administered with salvage chemotherapy was safe and resulted in anticancer activity, according to a study presented at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2018.1

Patients with gastric cancer generally experience poor outcomes and newer therapies are effective in only 10% to 30% of patients. The purpose of this trial was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a DC vaccine combined with salvage chemotherapy in this population.

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The single-arm, single institution, phase 1/2 trial treated 28 patients with advanced or refractory gastric cancer with a DC vaccine every 2 weeks for a total of 7 doses in combination with salvage chemotherapy. The primary endpoint was safety and disease control rate and the secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS) and peptide-specific T-cell response.

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The DC vaccine with chemotherapy resulted in two partial responses (PR) and seven stable disease (SD), whereas 11 patients developed disease progression.

During a median follow-up of 10.3 months, the median OS from the first vaccination was 10.5 months. OS was longer among patients who experienced a PR or SD at 26.3 months compared with 6.4 months among patients who did not respond to treatment (P < .001).

Responders demonstrated higher numbers of vaccine-induced T cells compared with nonresponders. There was also a trend of increased natural killer cells, NKT cells, γδT cells and decreased regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in responders. In contrast, regulatory T cells and MDSCs increased in nonresponders.

The therapy was generally well-tolerated with no grade 3 or higher adverse events, except for hematologic toxicities.

The authors stated that these results suggest that “DC vaccine-based immunotherapy combined with a salvage chemotherapy was demonstrated to be safe and elicit both innate and acquired cellular immune responses which might be correlated to clinical outcome.”

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2018 meeting by visiting the conference page.


  1. Ogasawara M. Dendritic cell vaccine-based immunotherapy in combination with salvage chemotherapy for patients with advanced or relapsed gastric cancer. Ann Oncol. 2018;29 (suppl 5;abstr P-075):v21. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy151.074