In this study, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of peptide-pulsed dendritic cell (DC) vaccine in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy (DCCP) for patients with stage IV melanoma previously treated with dacarbazine-containing regimen. Six HLA-A24+ and 3 HLA-A02+ patients were treated with carboplatin (area under the curve 5) and paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) on day 1 and DCs (2×107cells) pulsed with Wilms tumor gene 1 (WT1), gp100, tyrosinase, and either MAGE-A3 (for HLA-A24+) or MAGE-A2 (for HLA-A02+) peptides on days 8 and 22 in 28-day cycle for up to three cycles. DCCP was well tolerated, and median progression-free survival and median overall survival were 2.3 and 12.0 months, respectively. In four of nine patients, a WT1-specific immune response (WT1-IR) was detected using the interferon-γ enzyme-linked ImmunoSpot assay and WT1/HLA tetramer assay. DCCP was more likely to elicit a WT1-IR in patients who received DCs pulsed with the HLA-A24-restricted peptide (75%) compared with patients who received DCs pulsed with the HLA-A02-restricted peptide (0%, P=0.058). Furthermore, three (75%) of four patients with a WT1-IR survived longer than 12 months, whereas only one (20%) of five patients without a WT1-IR who received the BRAF inhibitor after DCCP survived longer than 12 months. These results suggest that DCCP may be beneficial for HLA-A24+ melanoma patients with a WT1-IR.
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