Effect of dose on immune response in patients vaccinated with an HER-2/neu intracellular domain protein-based vaccine

Mary L. Disis, Kathy Schiffman, Katherine Guthrie, Lupe G. Salazar, Keith L. Knutson, Vivian Goodell, Corazon Dela Rosa, Martin A. Cheever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the safety of an HER-2/neu intracellular domain (ICD) protein vaccine and to estimate whether vaccine dose impacts immunogenicity. Patients and Methods: Twenty-nine patients with HER-2/neu-overexpressing breast or ovarian cancer and with no evidence of disease after standard therapy received a low- (25 μg), intermediate- (150 μg), or high-dose (900 μg) HER-2/neu ICD protein vaccine. The vaccine was administered intradermally. monthly for 6 months, with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor as an adjuvant. Toxicity and both cellular and humoral HER-2/neu-specific immunity was evaluated. Results: The vaccine was well tolerated. The majority of patients (89%) developed HER-2/neu ICD-specific T-cell immunity. The dose of vaccine did not predict the magnitude of the T-cell response. The majority of patients (82%) also developed HER-2/neu-specific immunoglobulin G antibody immunity. Vaccine dose did not predict magnitude or avidity of the HER-2/neu-specific humoral immune response. Time to development of detectable HER-2/neu-specific immunity, however, was significantly earlier for the high-versus low-dose vaccine group (P = .003). Over half the patients retained HER-2/neu-specific T-cell immunity 9 to 12 months after immunizations had ended. Conclusion: The HER-2/neu ICD protein vaccine was well tolerated and effective in eliciting HER-2/neu-specific T-cell and antibody immunity in the majority of breast and ovarian cancer patients who completed the vaccine regimen. Although the dose of vaccine did not impact the magnitude of T-cell or antibody immunity elicited, patients receiving the highest dose developed HER-2/neu-specific immunity more rapidly than those who received the lowest dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1916-1925
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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