The outcomes for patients with metastatic or locally recurrent Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remain poor. We aimed to improve the outcomes for NPC refractory to conventional treatments with autologous EBV and oncogene–targeted Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTL) therapy.
Patients with stage IV NPC who cannot tolerate chemotherapy received autologous EBV and oncogene–targeted CTL expanded ex vivo from peripheral blood lymphocytes through dendritic cells (DCs) transfected by adenovirus-based vector encoded multiple epitopes from LMP1, CK19, survivin, SCC, CEA, SPANX, MAGE-A3, PMSA. Clinical tumor responses, survival rate and toxicity were evaluated.
In total 16 patients received multiple oncogenes-targeted CTL infusion. Among them, 2 patients had locally advanced NPC (LANPC) with high-risk distance metastasis, 5 patients had nasopharyngeal and/or cervical recurrence after re-irriadiation or surgery, 7 patients had distant metastasis and 2 patients had both distant metastasis and nasopharyngeal recurrence. Three patients showed CR, one patient showed PR, and nine patients exhibited SD after CTL infusion. During a median follow-up of 15 months, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 282 days (range 28-503 days), the mean overall survival is 484 days (range 28–552 days) after autologous CTL infusion. We did not observe severe or chronic adverse reactions related to autologous EBV and oncogene–targeted CTL infusions.
In our study, our findings show that therapy with autologous Epstein-Barr Virus and oncogene–Targeted Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes is safe and well tolerated and may offer clinical benefit to patients with NPC.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center.
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.