, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 303-309

Pre-immunotherapy serum CA27.29 (MUC-1) mucin level and CD69+ lymphocytes correlate with effects of Theratope® sialyl-Tn-KLH cancer vaccine in active specific immunotherapy

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 Patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or ovarian cancers received active specific immunotherapy (ASI) with Theratope® sialyl-Tn-KLH (keyhole limpet hemocyanin) cancer vaccine emulsified in Detox™ adjuvant. The median log2 anti-STn IgG titer generated by ASI, estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with solid-phase ovine submaxillary mucin, was 5.322 (range = 0 – 9.322). Following ASI, 51 patients who generated titers higher than the median value for anti-STn+ mucin IgG survived longer than 46 patients who generated lower titers below the median. 38 of the patients were phenotyped for CD69 prior to ASI. The patients with lower numbers of CD69+ peripheral blood lymphocytes prior to immunotherapy (pre-ASI) also had low serum CA27.29 cancer antigen (MUC-1) levels, and had longer times to disease progression and improved survival following ASI. Elevated pre-ASI serum CA27.29 tumor antigen levels were associated with higher numbers of CD69+ PBL, with decreased anti-STn antibody production and decreased survival following ASI. The data are compatible with the hypothesis that elevated serum MUC-1 mucin is specifically immunosuppressive.

Received: 7 September 1995 / Accepted: 10 April 1996