Survivin-targeted immunotherapy drives robust polyfunctional T cell generation and differentiation in advanced ovarian cancer patients

Neil L. Berinstein, Mohan Karkada, Amit M. Oza, Kunle Odunsi, Jeannine A. Villella, John J. Nemunaitis, Michael A. Morse, Tanja Pejovic, James Bentley, Marc Buyse, Rita Nigam, Genevieve M. Weir, Lisa D. MacDonald, Tara Quinton, Rajkannan Rajagopalan, Kendall Sharp, Andrea Penwell, Leeladhar Sammatur, Tomasz Burzykowski, Marianne M. StanfordMarc Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


DepoVax™ is an innovative and strongly immunogenic vaccine platform. Survivin is highly expressed in many tumor types and has reported prognostic value. To generate tumor-specific immune response, a novel cancer vaccine was formulated in DepoVax platform (DPX-Survivac) using survivin HLA class I peptides. Safety and immune potency of DPX-Survivac was tested in combination with immune-modulator metronomic cyclophosphamide in ovarian cancer patients. All the patients receiving the therapy produced antigen-specific immune responses; higher dose vaccine and cyclophosphamide treatment generating significantly higher magnitude responses. Strong T cell responses were associated with differentiation of naïve T cells into central/effector memory (CM/EM) and late differentiated (LD) polyfunctional antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. This approach enabled rapid de novo activation/expansion of vaccine antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and provided a strong rationale for further testing to determine clinical benefits associated with this immune activation. These data represent vaccine-induced T cell activation in a clinical setting to a self-tumor antigen previously described only in animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015


  • DepoVax
  • T cells
  • cancer
  • immunotherapy
  • survivin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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