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Intranodal Gene Immunotherapy of Ad-ISF35 in CLL


, : Intranodal Gene Immunotherapy of Ad-ISF35 in CLL.

New therapies for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are needed, particularly those that can eradicate residual disease and elicit anti-CLL immune responses. CD4 ligation on CLL cells, which can be achieved using adenovirus encoding chimeric CD154 (Ad-ISF35), enhances their ability to function as antigen-presenting cells and increases their sensitivity to clearance by immune-effector mechanisms. In this study, we report the results of a first-in-man phase I trial of intranodal direct injection (IDI) of Ad-ISF35 in patients with CLL to evaluate toxicity, safety, and tolerability. Fifteen patients received a single IDI of 1 11 to 33 11 Ad-ISF35 viral particles (vp), with a defined maximum tolerated dose as 1 111 vp. Although the most common adverse events were transient grade 1 to 2 pain at the injection site and flu-like symptoms following IDI, some patients receiving the highest dose had transient, asymptomatic grade 3 to 4 hypophosphatemia, neutropenia, or transaminitis. Increased expression of death receptor, immune costimulatory molecules, and Ad-ISF35 vector DNA was detected in circulating CLL cells. Notably, we also observed preliminary clinical responses, including reductions in leukemia cell counts, lymphadenopathy, and splenomegaly. Six patients did not require additional therapy for more than 6 months, and three achieved a partial remission. In conclusion, Ad-ISF35 IDI was safely delivered in patients with CLLs and induced systemic biologic and clinical responses. These results provide the rationale for phase II studies in CLLs, lymphomas, and CD4-expressing solid tumors.

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