Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Mixed 19-Peptide Vaccine Monotherapy

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

According to findings presented in Cancer Science, a mixed 19-peptide vaccine monotherapy for patients with advanced metastatic triple-negative breast cancer may provide immune-boosting effects with a good safety profile. Yoshito Akagi, MD, of Kurume University, Japan, and colleagues noted that although a large patient group is needed to evaluate these potential clinical benefits, the therapy's advancement in trials is warranted.

“Immune boosting specific to the vaccinated HLA‐matched peptides at the cellular and humoral levels was observed in the vast majority of patients who completed all six vaccinations,” the authors concluded.

In this early phase II trial, the authors enrolled 14 patients with histologically confirmed triple-negative breast cancer. All patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status score of 0 or 1, a life expectancy of at least 12 weeks, and adequate bone marrow and renal function. The patients received weekly vaccination for 6 weeks. Of the patients, four did not finish the therapy because of rapid disease progression. The vaccine consisted of 19 peptides coded by 11 different tumor-associated antigens.

The authors found an increase in peptide-specific immunoglobulin G against the vaccinated HLA-matched peptides, which was positively correlated with overall survival. The median overall survival for all patients was 11.5 months, but 24.4 months for the 10 patients who completed the vaccination. Patients with lower C-reactive protein levels or three or who had received fewer systemic chemotherapies were found to be favorable candidates for vaccine therapy.

Grade 1 or 2 injection-site reactions were the most common adverse events related to vaccination. Disease progression was thought to be the main cause of grade 3 or higher adverse events. “This could be a significant safety benefit for triple-negative breast cancer patients and differed from anti–PD‐1/PD‐L1 antibodies,” wrote the authors.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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