Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 61, Issue 11, pp 2033–2044 | Cite as

Integration of autologous dendritic cell-based immunotherapy in the standard of care treatment for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma: results of the HGG-2006 phase I/II trial

  • Hilko Ardon
  • Stefaan W. Van Gool
  • Tina Verschuere
  • Wim Maes
  • Steffen Fieuws
  • Raf Sciot
  • Guido Wilms
  • Philippe Demaerel
  • Jan Goffin
  • Frank Van Calenbergh
  • Johan Menten
  • Paul Clement
  • Maria Debiec-Rychter
  • Steven De VleeschouwerEmail author
Original article



Dendritic cell (DC)-based tumor vaccination has rendered promising results in relapsed high-grade glioma patients. In the HGG-2006 trial (EudraCT 2006-002881-20), feasibility, toxicity, and clinical efficacy of the full integration of DC-based tumor vaccination into standard postoperative radiochemotherapy are studied in 77 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Patients and methods

Autologous DC are generated after leukapheresis, which is performed before the start of radiochemotherapy. Four weekly induction vaccines are administered after the 6-week course of concomitant radiochemotherapy. During maintenance chemotherapy, 4 boost vaccines are given. Feasibility and progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months (6mo-PFS) are the primary end points. Overall survival (OS) and immune profiling, rather than monitoring, as assessed in patients’ blood samples, are the secondary end points. Analysis has been done on intent-to-treat basis.


The treatment was feasible without major toxicity. The 6mo-PFS was 70.1 % from inclusion. Median OS was 18.3 months. Outcome improved significantly with lower EORTC RPA classification. Median OS was 39.7, 18.3, and 10.7 months for RPA classes III, IV, and V, respectively. Patients with a methylated MGMT promoter had significantly better PFS (p = 0.0027) and OS (p = 0.0082) as compared to patients with an unmethylated status. Exploratory “immunological profiles” were built to compare to clinical outcome, but no statistical significant evidence was found for these profiles to predict clinical outcome.


Full integration of autologous DC-based tumor vaccination into standard postoperative radiochemotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma seems safe and possibly beneficial. These results were used to power the currently running phase IIb randomized clinical trial.


Dendritic cell Vaccine Glioblastoma Radiochemoimmunotherapy 



We thank our laboratory collaborators for their excellent technical assistance, the department of hematology for the care provided at time of the leukapheresis, and the clinic for radiotherapy for irradiating the tumor lysate preparations. HSA has been provided by the Belgian Red Cross and Baxter. This project is supported by the Olivia Hendrickx Research Fund (, the Herman Memorial Research Fund (, and the James E. Kearney Memorial Foundation ( Support was also obtained from CAF Belgium, Baxter, and gifts from private families and service clubs. Additionally, grants were obtained from “Stichting tegen Kanker”, IWT (TBM projects), the Stem Cell Institute Leuven, the Emmanuel van der Schueren Fund, the International Union against Cancer, the Klinisch Onderzoeksfonds UZ Leuven, and the Fund for Scientific Research—Flanders (FWO-V). SDV is supported by the “Klinisch onderzoeksfonds” from the University Hospital Leuven. SWVG is Senior Clinical Investigator of the Fund for Scientific Research—Flanders (Belgium) (F.W.O.-Vlaanderen).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

262_2012_1261_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (339 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 339 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilko Ardon
    • 1
  • Stefaan W. Van Gool
    • 2
    • 8
  • Tina Verschuere
    • 2
  • Wim Maes
    • 2
  • Steffen Fieuws
    • 3
  • Raf Sciot
    • 4
  • Guido Wilms
    • 5
  • Philippe Demaerel
    • 5
  • Jan Goffin
    • 1
  • Frank Van Calenbergh
    • 1
  • Johan Menten
    • 6
  • Paul Clement
    • 7
  • Maria Debiec-Rychter
    • 9
  • Steven De Vleeschouwer
    • 1
    • 10
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Experimental MedicineCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics and Statistical BioinformaticsCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Department of PathologyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  5. 5.Department of ImagingCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  6. 6.Department of RadiotherapyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  7. 7.Department of OncologyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  8. 8.Department of Child and WomenCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  9. 9.Department of Human GeneticsCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  10. 10.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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