Common adjuvant breast cancer therapies do not inhibit cancer vaccine induced T cell immunity.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Breast cancer research and treatment, Volume 113, Issue 1, p.95-100 (2009)


2009, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Blood Cell Count, Breast Neoplasms, Cancer Vaccines, Center-Authored Paper, Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Receptor, erbB-2, Research Trials Office Core Facility - Biostatistics Service, Shared Resources, T-Lymphocytes


Cancer vaccines may have the most potential for clinical impact when used in the adjuvant setting when tumor burden is at its lowest. Application of cancer vaccines in the adjuvant setting, however, requires integration of immunization with more standard cytotoxic or cytostatic therapies. Common adjuvant therapies for breast cancer patients, i.e. trastuzumab, bisphosphonates and hormonal agents are often administered over several years requiring concurrent administration of these drugs with active immunization. We questioned whether these common adjuvant therapies would impact a patient's ability to develop tumor specific immunity with vaccination. Immune parameters from 36 subjects were evaluated. We determined these adjuvant therapies have no impact on the ability to develop an immune response specific for HER-2/neu peptides (P>0.1) nor do they have an impact on the magnitude of T cell immunity developed with concurrent vaccination (P>0.1). This is the first report to show that the use of trastuzumab, bisphosphonates and hormonal therapy concurrent with cancer vaccine administration have no impact on either the generation or the magnitude of vaccine induced immunity.