Open Access

Letter to the editor

  • Camilo E Fadul1, 2, 3Email author,
  • Jan L Fisher1,
  • Thomas H Hampton1 and
  • Marc S Ernstoff1, 2, 3
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer20142:22

https://doi.org/10.1186/2051-1426-2-22

Received: 23 May 2014

Accepted: 30 May 2014

Published: 15 July 2014

May 8, 2014

Pedro Romero, M.D.

Editor-in-Chief

Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer

Dear Dr. Romero,

We read with interest the work by Olin and collaborators published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer under the title “Vaccination with dendritic cells loaded with allogeneic brain tumor cells for recurrent malignant brain tumors induces a CD4 + IL17+ response” [1]. Immune therapy trials for malignant brain tumors are challenging to undertake and there are many factors, including the high expense per patient which limits the number of patients enrolled, hence curtailing the ability to demonstrate that the intervention improves clinical outcomes. Furthermore, the baseline immune competence of patients with gliomas is heterogeneous and is an important variable in determining who will benefit from this therapeutic modality. Assessment of immune markers before treatment with immunotherapy which could reliably predict response is highly desirable, since patients unlikely to benefit could be considered for alternate clinical trials.

Profiling the immune cell populations in peripheral blood by flow cytometry is a potentially useful tool, and hierarchical clustering analysis of the multiple cell populations measured may provide a distinct and comprehensive overview of the immune status [2]. Olin et al. use this methodology to separate patients with brain tumors who had stable or progressive disease after being treated with dendritic cells loaded with allogeneic tumor. We would like to bring to the attention of the authors and readership that in our 2011 publication, we applied hierarchical clustering to functional immune assay measures of antigen specific response to treatment with autologous tumor lysate loaded DC vaccination in a cohort of glioblastoma patients [3]. The shift of immune response measures discerned 2 groups of patients that correlated with survival.

Successful use of hierarchical clustering analysis of multiple immune measures as a prognostic and predictive marker in patients with gliomas first reported by us and confirmed by Olin et al., serves as a proof of principle. A substantially larger study using supervised classification techniques to identify the key prognostic factors, will allow validation of a prediction system. Integrated biomarkers that are able to more accurately and reliably quantify immune competence are needed to be able to do clinical trials enriched for individuals likely to benefit from immune therapy.

Sincerely,

Camilo E. Fadul, MD

Jan L. Fisher, MS

Thomas H. Hampton, MS

Marc S. Ernstoff, MD

Declarations

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
(2)
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
(3)
Norris Cotton Cancer Center, One Medical Center Drive

References

  1. Olin M, Low W, McKenna D, Haines S, Dahlheimer T, Nascene D, Gustafson M, Dietz A, Clark H, Chen W, Blazar B, Ohlfest J, Moertel C: Vaccination with dendritic cells loaded with allogeneic brain tumor cells for recurrent malignant brain tumors induces a CD4+IL17+ response. J Immuno Ther Cancer. 2014, 2 (1): 4-10.1186/2051-1426-2-4. PubMed PMID: doi:10.1186/2051-1426-2-4View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Gustafson M, Lin Y, LaPlant B, Liwski C, Maas M, League S: Immune monitoring using the predictive power of immune profiles. J Immuno Ther Cancer. 2013, 1: 7-18. 10.1186/2051-1426-1-7. PubMed PMID: doi:10.1186/2051-1426-1-7View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Fadul CE, Fisher JL, Hampton TH, Lallana EC, Li Z, Gui J, Szczepiorkowski ZM, Tosteson TD, Rhodes CH, Wishart HA, Lewis LD, Ernstoff MS: Immune response in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme treated with intranodal autologous tumor lysate-dendritic cell vaccination after radiation chemotherapy. J Immunother. 2011 May, 34 (4): 382-389. 10.1097/CJI.0b013e318215e300. PubMed PMID: 21499132. Pubmed Central PMCID: 3766324View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Fadul et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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