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A Phase I/II Study of an Antitumor Vaccination Using Alpha(1,3)Galactosyltransferase Expressing Allogeneic Tumor Cells in Patients With Refractory or Recurrent Malignant Melanoma

Phase 1/Phase 2
18 Years
Not Enrolling
Malignant Melanoma

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Trial Information

A Phase I/II Study of an Antitumor Vaccination Using Alpha(1,3)Galactosyltransferase Expressing Allogeneic Tumor Cells in Patients With Refractory or Recurrent Malignant Melanoma

According to statistics of the American Cancer Society, an estimated 55,000 individuals will
be diagnosed with malignant melanoma and 8,000 will die of the disease this year in the
Unites States despite all current therapy. This protocol attempts to exploit an approach to
melanoma vaccine therapy using a naturally occurring barrier to xenotransplantation in
humans in attempt to vaccinate patients against their melanoma The expression of the murine
alpha(1,3)galactosyltransferase [alpha(1,3)GT] gene results in the cell surface expression
of alpha(1,3)galactosyl-epitopes (alpha-gal) on membrane glycoproteins and glycolipids.
These epitopes are the major target of the hyperacute rejection response that occurs when
organs are transplanted from non-primate donor species into man. Human hosts often have
pre-existing anti-alpha-gal antibodies that bind alpha-gal epitopes and lead to rapid
activation of complement and cell lysis. The pre-existing anti-alpha-gal antibodies found in
most individuals are thought to be due to exposure to alpha-gal epitopes that are naturally
expressed on normal gut flora leading to chronic immunological stimulation. These
antibodies may comprise up to 1% of serum IgG. In this Phase I/II trial, patients with
advanced stage melanoma will undergo a series of twelve intradermal injections with a
trivalent vaccine composed of irradiated allogeneic melanoma cell lines (HAM-1, HAM-2 and
HAM-3). These cell lines have been transduced with a recombinant Moloney murine leukemia
virus (MoMLV)-based retroviral vector expressing the murine alpha(1,3)GT gene. Endpoints of
the study include determination of dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), maximum tolerated dose
(MTD), tumor and immunological responses.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Histological diagnosis of malignant melanoma. (pathology must be reviewed by
Pathology Department)

- AJCC Stage IIIC (any T, N1b, N2b, N3, M0) or Stage IV (any T, any N, M1),
metastatic, progressive, refractory, recurrent, or high risk of recurrence malignant

- Adult patients > or = to 18 years of age

- Measurable or non-measurable disease.

- Patient is > or = to 4 weeks past major surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy. (6 weeks
if treated with a nitrosureas) or biotherapy/targeted therapies and has recovered
from the toxicity of prior treatment to < or = to Grade 1, exclusive of alopecia or

- Hemoglobin > or = to 10.0 gm/dL, absolute granulocyte count > or = to 1500/
mm3,platelets > or = to 100,000/ mm3, absolute lymphocyte count > or = to 475/ mm3.

- Total Bilirubin < or = to 1.5 ULN (mg/dL), ALT (SGPT) and AST (SGOT) < or = to 2.5 x

- Serum creatinine < or = to 1.5 x ULN, or creatinine clearance > or = to 50 mL/min.

- Serum albumin > or = to 3.0 gm/dL.

- ECOG performance status < or = to 2.

- All On-Study Test results are < or = to Grade I toxicity for patient to be eligible
for study, except for serum LDH. PT, PTT must be < or = to 1.5 x ULN except for
patients who are on therapeutic anticoagulant therapy.

- Negative serologies for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV

- Ability to give informed consent and express a willingness to meet all the expected
requirements of the protocol including using contraception as outlined in the consent

- Expected survival > 6 months. NOTE: Prior therapy for melanoma may include surgery,
radiation therapy, immunotherapy including interleukins and interferon, and/or < or =
to 2 different chemotherapy regimens and other experimental therapies.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Subject has an active CNS metastases or carcinomatous meningitis. Subjects with CNS
lesions that have been treated and show no evidence of progression on CT/MRI for > or
= to 3 months are eligible.

- Hypercalcemia > 2.9 mmol/L, unresponsive to standard therapy (IV hydration, diuretics
calcitonin and/or bisphosphate therapy)

- Subject is any of the following: HIV positive, history or hepatitis C virus
infection, acute or chronic active hepatitis B virus infection (HbsAg positive).

- Subject has had splenectomy.

- Subject has had other malignancy within five years, and probability of recurrence of
prior malignancy is >5%. (if less than 5% subject is eligible) SEE NOTE1

- Subject has history of organ transplant or currently taking active immunosuppressive
therapy such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus, etc.

- Subject is currently receiving systemic corticosteroid therapy for any reason. SEE

- Subject has significant or uncontrolled congestive heart failure, myocardial
infarction or significant ventricular arrhythmias within the last six months or
significant pulmonary dysfunction.

- Subject has an active infection or antibiotics within 1-week prior to study,including
unexplained fever (temp > 38.1C)

- Subject has an autoimmune disease (systemic lupus erythematosis, active rheumatoid
arthritis, etc.) with the exception of vitiligo. SEE NOTE3.

- Subject has a serious medical condition that may be expected to limit life expectancy
to less than 2 years (e.g., liver cirrhosis)

- Subject has any condition, psychiatric or otherwise, that would preclude informed
consent, consistent follow-up or compliance with an aspect of the study.

- Subject has a known allergy to a component of the alpha(1,3)galactosyltransferase
tumor vaccine or cell lines from which it is derived.

- Subject is pregnant or nursing.

NOTE1: Subjects curatively treated for squamous and basal cell carcinoma of the skin and
carcinoma in situ of the uterine cervix (CIN) or subjects with a history of malignant
tumor in the past that has been disease free for at least five years are also eligible for
this study.

NOTE2: Subject's receiving inhaled or topical corticosteroids are eligible. Subjects who
require systemic corticosteroid therapy after beginning vaccination will be removed from
the study.

NOTE3: Subjects with a remote history of asthma or mild active asthma are eligible.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

To assess the side effects, dose-limiting toxicity and maximum tolerated dose.

Outcome Time Frame:

6 months

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Ronald C. DeConti, M.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

University of South Florida


United States: Food and Drug Administration

Study ID:




Start Date:

March 2006

Completion Date:

September 2007

Related Keywords:

  • Malignant Melanoma
  • Melanoma



H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research InstituteTampa, Florida  33612