Tumor vaccine after high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) aims at directing immune recovery toward tumor responses after optimizing minimal residual disease. We have characterized T-cell recovery and tumor response after a regimen devised as a platform for such immunotherapy. One hundred patients with high-risk or metastatic breast cancer received 3 to 7 cycles of paclitaxel and cyclophosphamide (overall response rate, 78%) and then HDC with melphalan and etoposide. Seventy-one patients received HDC and ASCT (no mortality at 100 days). At 24 months after transplantation, progression-free and overall survival probabilities for patients with stage IIIA, IIIB, and IV disease were 82%, 81%, and 42% and 100%, 94%, and 68%, respectively. The median progression-free and overall survivals from entry on study for stage IV patients were 15.3 and 38.1 months, respectively. CD3+, CD8+, and CD4+ cells were severely depleted after ASCT. Although total CD8+ T-cell numbers approached the normal range by 3 months, most of these cells were CD28-. Naive CD45RA+CD4+ T cells approached the normal range only 18 months after ASCT and only in younger patients. The described observations provide the basis for devising a strategy for cancer vaccine administration after ASCT. Incorporating immune reconstitution enhancement after ASCT may be advantageous.
- Autologous stem cell transplantation
- Breast cancer
- High-dose chemotherapy
- Immune reconstitution
ASJC Scopus subject areas