Object: Early-phase clinical studies of glioma vaccines have shown feasibility and encouraging preliminary clinical activity. A vaccine that targets tumor angiogenesis factors in glioma microenvironment has not been reported. Therefore, we performed a pilot study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a novel vaccination targeting tumor angiogenesis with synthetic peptides for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor epitopes in patients with recurrent/progressive high grade gliomas. Methods: Eight patients received intranodal vaccinations weekly at a dose of 2mg/kg bodyweight 8 times. T-lymphocyte responses against VEGF receptor (VEGFR) epitopes were assessed by enzyme linked immunosorbent spot assays. Results: This treatment was well-tolerated in patients. The first four vaccines induced positive immune responses against at least one of the targeted VEGFR epitopes in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 87.5% of patients. The median overall survival time in all patients was 15.9 months. Two achieved progression-free status lasting at least 6 months. Two patients with recurrent GBM demonstrated stable disease. Plasma IL-8 level was negatively correlated with overall survival. Conclusion: These data demonstrate the safety and immunogenicity of VEGFR peptide vaccines targeting tumor vasculatures in high grade gliomas.
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