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A phase I study of personalized peptide vaccination using 14 kinds of vaccine in combination with low-dose estramustine in HLA-A24-positive patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer


  • Conflict of interest statement: The authors indicated no potential conflict of interest with the exception of Yamada and Itoh who received a research grant from the Green Peptide Co., Ltd; Yamada and Itoh own stocks in the Green Peptide Co.; Yamada is a part-time executive of the Green Peptide Co.



To evaluate the safety, tolerability, immune response, and antitumor activity of a combination of personalized peptide vaccination (PPV) and estramustine phosphate (EMP) in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).


In a phase I dose-escalation study, four peptides showing the highest levels of peptide-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) to 14 vaccine candidates (ITK-1) were subcutaneously injected every week in three different dose settings (1, 3, and 5 mg per peptide) for 6 weeks with a low dose of EMP, and the patients were followed by maximum 2 years extension study either weekly or bi-weekly six times PPV as one course with a low dose of EMP.


Fifteen patients were enrolled in the phase I study. No serious treatment-related adverse events were observed. The most common adverse events were grade 2 skin reactions at the injection sites. The maximum acceptable dose of ITK-1 was 8.643 mg. There were no treatment-related systemic adverse events of grade 3 or more, and maximum tolerated dose could not be determined. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses measured by interferon-γ release assay were boosted in 10 of 15 (67%) patients, and IgG responses were boosted in 7 of 15 (47%) patients. Twelve patients proceeded to the extension study, and the median survival time was 23.8 months during a median follow-up of 23.8 months.


PPV treatment for HLA-A24 positive patients with CRPC could be recommended for further stages of clinical trials because of its safety and the higher frequency of boosting immune responses. Prostate 77:470–479, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.