Purpose: E75 is an immunogenic peptide fromthe HER2/neu protein, which is overexpressed in many breast cancer patients. We have conducted two overlapping E75 vaccine trials to prevent recurrence in node-positive (NP) and node-negative (NN) breast cancer patients. Experimental Design: E75 (HER2/neu 369-377) + granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor was given intradermally to previously treated, disease-free NP breast cancer patients in a dose escalation safety trial and to NN breast cancer patients in a dose optimization study. Local and systemic toxicity was monitored. Immunologic responses were assessed using in vitro assays and in vivo delayed-type hypersensitivity responses. Clinical recurrences were documented. Results: One hundred and eighty-six patients were enrolled in the two studies (NP, 95; NN, 91). Human leucocyte antigen A 2 (HLA-A 2) and HLA-A 3 patients were vaccinated (n =101), whereas all others (n = 85) were followed prospectively as controls. Toxicities were minimal, and a dose-dependent immunologic response to the vaccine was shown. Planned primary analysis revealed a recurrence rate of 5.6% in vaccinated patients compared with 14.2% in the controls (P = 0.04) at a median of 20 months follow-up. As vaccine-specific immunity waned over time, the difference in recurrence lost significance at 26 months median follow-up (8.3% versus 14.8%); however, a significant difference in the pattern of recurrence persisted. Conclusions: E75 is safe and effective in raising a dose-dependent HER2/neu immunity in HLA-A2 and HLA-A3 NP and NN breast cancer patients. More importantly, E75 may reduce recurrences in disease-free, conventionally treated, high-risk breast cancer patients. These findings warrant a prospective, randomized phase III trial of the E75 vaccine with periodic booster to prevent breast cancer recurrences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research