American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Data from A Phase I/II Trial of Cetuximab in Combination with Interleukin-12 Administered to Patients with Unresectable Primary or Recurrent Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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posted on 2023-03-31, 21:26 authored by Elizabeth L. McMichael, Brooke Benner, Lakhvir S. Atwal, Nicholas B. Courtney, Xiaokui Mo, Melanie E. Davis, Amanda R. Campbell, Megan C. Duggan, Kallan Williams, Kyle Martin, Kala Levine, Gonzalo N. Olaverria Salavaggione, Tiffany Noel, Akaansha Ganju, Sarvani Uppati, Bonnie Paul, Thomas Olencki, Theodoros N. Teknos, Panos Savvides, Susheela Tridandapani, John C. Byrd, Michael A. Caligiuri, Stephen V. Liu, William E. Carson

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ARTICLE ABSTRACT

mAbs including cetuximab can induce antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and cytokine production mediated via innate immune cells with the ability to recognize mAb-coated tumors. Preclinical modeling has shown that costimulation of natural killer (NK) cells via the Fc receptor and the IL12 receptor promotes NK-cell–mediated ADCC and production of cytokines. This phase I/II trial evaluated the combination of cetuximab with IL12 for the treatment of EGFR-expressing head and neck cancer. Treatment consisted of cetuximab 500 mg/m2 i.v. every 2 weeks with either 0.2 mcg/kg or 0.3 mcg/kg IL12 s.c. on days 2 and 5 of the 2-week cycle, beginning with cycle 2. Correlative studies from blood draws obtained prior to treatment and during therapy included measurement of ADCC, serum cytokine, and chemokine analysis, determination of NK cell FcγRIIIa polymorphisms, and an analysis of myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) frequency in peripheral blood. The combination of cetuximab and IL12 was well tolerated. No clinical responses were observed, however, 48% of patients exhibited prolonged progression-free survival (PFS; average of 6.5 months). Compared with patients that did not exhibit clinical benefit, patients with PFS >100 days exhibited increased ADCC as therapy continued compared with baseline, greater production of IFNγ, IP-10, and TNFα at the beginning of cycle 8 compared with baseline values and had a predominance of monocytic MDSCs versus granulocytic MDSCs prior to therapy. Further investigation of IL12 as an immunomodulatory agent in combination with cetuximab in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is warranted.

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