Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 687–695 | Cite as

Ten-year survival analysis for renal carcinoma patients treated with an autologous tumour lysate vaccine in an adjuvant setting

  • Matthias MayEmail author
  • Sabine Brookman-May
  • Bernd Hoschke
  • Christian Gilfrich
  • Friederike Kendel
  • Susann Baxmann
  • Stefan Wittke
  • Stephan T. Kiessig
  • Kurt Miller
  • Manfred Johannsen
Original Article


About 30% of renal cell carcinomas (RCC) will develop recurrence after surgery. Despite evidence for a significantly improved survival by autologous tumour cell vaccination therapy, the procedure has not become standard. Between August 1993 and December 1996, 1,267 RCC patients undergoing radical nephrectomy in 84 German hospitals were subsequently treated by autologous tumour cell vaccination therapy. The study group comprised 692 patients with complete follow-up (stages pT2-3, pNx-2, M0 based on the TNM classification, 4th edition). Subsequent propensity-score matching according to 7 defined criteria with 861 control patients undergoing nephrectomy alone without adjuvant treatment at the Carl-Thiem-Hospital Cottbus, resulted in 495 matched pairs. Overall and stage-specific survival rates were analysed after a median follow-up of 131 months. The 5- and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates were 80.6 and 68.9% in the vaccine group and 79.2 and 62.1% in the control group (p = 0.066). Patients with pT3 stage RCC revealed 5- and 10-year OS rates of 71.3 and 53.6% in the study group and 65.4 and 36.2% in the control group (p = 0.022). In multivariable analysis, patients in the vaccine group showed a significantly improved survival both in the whole study group (HR = 1.28, p = 0.030) and in the subgroup presenting with pT3 stage tumours (HR = 1.67, p = 0.011). Adjuvant treatment with autologous vaccination therapy resulted in a significantly improved overall survival in pT3 stage RCC patients, suggesting benefit especially in this subgroup. However, controlled clinical trials integrating the recent TNM classification and further risk constellations are required to define additional patient groups that may derive benefit from this treatment.


Renal cell carcinoma Nephrectomy Autologous tumour vaccine Adjuvant treatment Overall survival 



The authors wish to thank Mrs. Sandra Pflanz (study coordinator of the project group renal cell carcinoma, Department of Urology, Cottbus), many (but not forgotten) urologists and GPs from all over Germany as well as the regional tumour centres for their help in data acquisition. Without their help it would not have been possible to keep the “lost-to-follow-up” group in this multicentre trial so small.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias May
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sabine Brookman-May
    • 1
  • Bernd Hoschke
    • 2
  • Christian Gilfrich
    • 1
  • Friederike Kendel
    • 3
  • Susann Baxmann
    • 4
  • Stefan Wittke
    • 4
  • Stephan T. Kiessig
    • 4
  • Kurt Miller
    • 5
  • Manfred Johannsen
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of UrologySt. Elisabeth Hospital StraubingStraubingGermany
  2. 2.Department of UrologyCarl-Thiem-Hospital CottbusCottbusGermany
  3. 3.Department of Medical PsychologyCharité University School of MedicineBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Haema AGLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.Department of UrologyCharité University School of MedicineBerlinGermany

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