Abstract CT123: Trial in progress: First-in-human immunotherapy-trio for advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

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Publication Date


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Cancer Research


oregon; chiles


Background: Glucocorticoid-Induced Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-related protein (GITR) is a co-stimulatory pathway that when triggered has potent effects on T-cell memory, proliferation and anti-tumor activity. Preclinical models identified significant synergy between anti-GITR agonist therapy and cancer vaccines to generate stronger tumor specific CD8 T cell responses. DPV-001 is an “off-the-shelf” multivalent autophagosome vaccine generated by in vitro manipulation of the autophagy pathway in human cancer cell lines. The vaccine delivers short-lived proteins (SLiPs) and defective ribosomal products (DRiPs) which are likely the dominant epitopes directly presented by MHC class I of tumor cells; but because of proteosomal degradation, are normally unavailable for cross-presentation, hence the delivery via vaccine. We hypothesize that addition of aGITR to DPV-001 vaccine will augment expansion of reactive CD4 and CD8 T cells, attenuate contraction of this response, and improve the therapeutic effect of treatment, and will result in the development of a coordinated T and B cell response to some of the same proteins, detectable using a cutting-edge seromics approach, as a window to TCR target identification for immunodynamic tracking of induced anti-cancer responses at an advanced level.

Methods: Patient recruitment began in August 2022, for this first-in-human immunotherapy-trio study of DPV-001, with sequenced checkpoint inhibition (aPD-1 mAb; retifanlimab), with or without aGITR agonist mAb (INCAGN-1949), in recurrent or metastatic HNSCC (NCT04470024). Patient population to include HPV-positive or HPV-negative, ECOG 0-2, with therapy continued until confirmed progression (RECIST 1.1), up to 2 years. Primary objective is safety, DLT ≤ 33%, with secondary efficacy objectives of ORR (PR+CR) and 2 year OS. Initial safety lead-in (n = 3+3 per arm), will be followed by phase Ib expansion of one/both arms if immunologically promising, 28 patients per arm, futility if <4/15 responses. Study Drugs Cyclophosphamide 300mg/m2 IV, priming Day (-2) onlyVaccine (DPV-001)- Day 1 intranodal US bilateral inguinal- Days 8,15 intradermal, then q2wks to week 22- Thereafter q4wks until progression, up to 2 yearsaPD-1 (retifanlimab) 500mg IV q4wks, start Day 15 (Arms 1 & 2)aGITR (INCAGN01876) 300mg IV q2wks, start Day 1 (Arm 2 only) Response (RECIST 1.1) CT weeks 8 and 12, then q3mos Immunologic Monitoring PBL and sera are collected regularly and PBL are evaluated by flow cytometry. Biopsies obtained at baseline, Day 15 and Day 57, analyzed by mIF and 10x scRNA-Seq. Sera analyzed by phage immunoprecipitation (PhIP) sequencing for reactivity against the human proteome. Immune monitoring modifications that allow for improved characterization of immune cell subsets will be presented.

Citation Format: Marcus A. Couey, Matthew Taylor, Tarsem Moudgil, Yoshinobu Koguchi, Anne Stadum, Tanisha Christie, William L. Redmond, Christopher Paustian, Ryan Meng, Venkatesh Rajamanickam, Lessli Rushforth, Abigail Peterson, Brady Bernard, Richard B. Bell, Carlo B. Bifulco, Traci L. Hilton, Shawn M. Jensen, Hong-Ming Hu, Brian Piening, Walter J. Urba, Bernard A. Fox, Rom S. Leidner. Trial in progress: First-in-human immunotherapy-trio for advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2023; Part 2 (Clinical Trials and Late-Breaking Research); 2023 Apr 14-19; Orlando, FL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2023;83(8_Suppl):Abstract nr CT123.

Clinical Institute



Earle A. Chiles Research Institute




Marcus A. Couey; Matthew Taylor; Tarsem Moudgil; Yoshinobu Koguchi; Anne Stadum; Tanisha Christie; William L. Redmond; Christopher Paustian; Ryan Meng; Venkatesh Rajamanickam; Lessli Rushforth; Abigail Peterson; Brady Bernard; Richard B. Bell; Carlo B. Bifulco; Traci L. Hilton; Shawn M. Jensen; Hong-Ming Hu; Brian Piening; Walter J. Urba; Bernard A. Fox; Rom S. Leidner