We have developed and previously reported on a therapeutic vaccination strategy for indolent B-cell lymphoma that combines local radiation to enhance tumor immunogenicity with the injection into the tumor of a TLR9 agonist. As a result, antitumor CD8(+) T cells are induced, and systemic tumor regression was documented. Because the vaccination occurs in situ, there is no need to manufacture a vaccine product. We have now explored this strategy in a second disease: mycosis fungoides (MF). We treated 15 patients. Clinical responses were assessed at the distant, untreated sites as a measure of systemic antitumor activity. Five clinically meaningful responses were observed. The procedure was well tolerated and adverse effects consisted mostly of mild and transient injection site or flu-like symptoms. The immunized sites showed a significant reduction of CD25(+), Foxp3(+) T cells that could be either MF cells or tissue regulatory T cells and a similar reduction in S100(+), CD1a(+) dendritic cells. There was a trend toward greater reduction of CD25(+) T cells and skin dendritic cells in clinical responders versus nonresponders. Our in situ vaccination strategy is feasible also in MF and the clinical responses that occurred in a subset of patients warrant further study with modifications to augment these therapeutic effects. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00226993.
View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-05-355222
View details for PubMedID 22045986