Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 59, Issue 12, pp 1877–1884 | Cite as

Toll-like receptor-7 agonist administered subcutaneously in a prolonged dosing schedule in heavily pretreated recurrent breast, ovarian, and cervix cancers

  • Melissa A. Geller
  • Sarah Cooley
  • Peter A. Argenta
  • Levi S. Downs
  • Linda F. Carson
  • Patricia L. Judson
  • Rahel Ghebre
  • Brenda Weigel
  • Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari
  • Julie Curtsinger
  • Jeffrey S. Miller
Original Article



The primary objective was to study the antitumor activity of prolonged subcutaneous dosing of systemic 852A, a Toll-like receptor-7 agonist (TLR-7), in recurrent breast, ovarian and cervix cancer. Secondary objectives included assessment of safety and immune system activation.


Adults with recurrent breast, ovarian or cervix cancer failing multiple therapies received 0.6 mg/m2 of 852A subcutaneously twice weekly for 12 weeks. Doses increased by 0.2 mg/m2/week to a maximum of 1.2 mg/m2. Serum was collected to assess immune activation.


Fifteen patients enrolled: 10 ovarian, 2 cervix and 3 breast. Three completed all 24 injections. There were two grade 2 (decreased ejection fractions), nine grade 3 (1 cardiovascular, 1 anorexia, 3 dehydration, 2 infections, 2 renal) and two grade 4 (hepatic and troponin elevation) unanticipated toxicities. Cardiac toxicities included three cardiomyopathies (2 asymptomatic) and one stress-related non-ST elevated myocardial infarction. Five patients discontinued therapy due to possibly associated side effects. One who had stable disease (SD) following 24 doses received 17 additional doses. A cervix patient with SD following 24 doses received chemotherapy after progressing 3 months later, and remains disease free at 18 months. Immune activation, as evidenced by increased IP-10 and IL-1ra, was observed.


In this first human experience of a TLR-7 agonist delivered subcutaneously using a prolonged dosing schedule, 852A demonstrated sustained tolerability in some patients. Clinical benefit was modest, but immune activation was seen suggesting further study of antitumor applications is warranted. Because of cardiac toxicity; 852A should be used cautiously in heavily pretreated patients.


TLR-7 agonist 852A Ovarian cancer Cervix cancer Breast cancer 



This study was initially supported by 3M. 3M oncology programs were acquired by Coley in June 2007 and Coley provided financial support for MUGA scans performed as part of the trial. Coley was acquired by Pfizer Inc in November 2007. Additional support was provided by the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Geller
    • 1
  • Sarah Cooley
    • 2
  • Peter A. Argenta
    • 1
  • Levi S. Downs
    • 1
  • Linda F. Carson
    • 1
  • Patricia L. Judson
    • 1
  • Rahel Ghebre
    • 1
  • Brenda Weigel
    • 3
  • Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari
    • 2
    • 3
  • Julie Curtsinger
    • 4
  • Jeffrey S. Miller
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Masonic Cancer CenterUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  5. 5.Division of Hematology, Oncology and TransplantationUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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