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Authors Albertini MR, Ranheim EA, Zuleger CL, Sondel PM, Hank JA, Bridges A, Newton MA, McFarland T, Collins J, Clements E, Henry MB, Neuman HB, Weber S, Whalen G, Galili U
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Journal Cancer Immunol. Immunother. Volume: 65 Issue: 8 Pages: 897-907
Publish Date 2016 Aug
PubMed ID 27207605
PMC ID 4958541

Effective uptake of tumor cell-derived antigens by antigen-presenting cells is achieved pre-clinically by in situ labeling of tumor with α-gal glycolipids that bind the naturally occurring anti-Gal antibody. We evaluated toxicity and feasibility of intratumoral injections of α-gal glycolipids as an autologous tumor antigen-targeted immunotherapy in melanoma patients (pts). Pts with unresectable metastatic melanoma, at least one cutaneous, subcutaneous, or palpable lymph node metastasis, and serum anti-Gal titer ≥1:50 were eligible for two intratumoral α-gal glycolipid injections given 4 weeks apart (cohort I: 0.1 mg/injection; cohort II: 1.0 mg/injection; cohort III: 10 mg/injection). Monitoring included blood for clinical, autoimmune, and immunological analyses and core tumor biopsies. Treatment outcome was determined 8 weeks after the first α-gal glycolipid injection. Nine pts received two intratumoral injections of α-gal glycolipids (3 pts/cohort). Injection-site toxicity was mild, and no systemic toxicity or autoimmunity could be attributed to the therapy. Two pts had stable disease by RECIST lasting 8 and 7 months. Tumor nodule biopsies revealed minimal to no change in inflammatory infiltrate between pre- and post-treatment biopsies except for 1 pt (cohort III) with a post-treatment inflammatory infiltrate. Two and four weeks post-injection, treated nodules in 5 of 9 pts exhibited tumor cell necrosis without neutrophilic or lymphocytic inflammatory response. Non-treated tumor nodules in 2 of 4 evaluable pts also showed necrosis. Repeated intratumoral injections of α-gal glycolipids are well tolerated, and tumor necrosis was seen in some tumor nodule biopsies after tumor injection with α-gal glycolipids.

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