Clinical Research Papers:

ABO blood type correlates with survival on prostate cancer vaccine therapy

Saddam M. Muthana, James L. Gulley, James W. Hodge, Jeffrey Schlom and Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:32244-32256. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4993

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Saddam M. Muthana1,2, James L. Gulley3, James W. Hodge4, Jeffrey Schlom4, Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve1

1Chemical Biology Laboratory, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, MD, USA

2Chemistry Department, College of Science & General Studies, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, KSA

3Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

4Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Correspondence to:

Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve, e-mail: gildersj@mail.nih.gov

Keywords: cancer vaccine, immunotherapy, PROSTVAC-FV, Glycan microarray, blood type

Received: July 11, 2015     Accepted: August 04, 2015     Published: August 18, 2015


Immunotherapies for cancer are transforming patient care, but clinical responses vary considerably from patient to patient. Simple, inexpensive strategies to target treatment to likely responders could substantially improve efficacy while simultaneously reducing health care costs, but identification of reliable biomarkers has proven challenging. Previously, we found that pre-treatment serum IgM to blood group A (BG-A) correlated with survival for patients treated with PROSTVAC-VF, a therapeutic cancer vaccine in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of prostate cancer. These results suggested that ABO blood type might influence efficacy. Unfortunately, blood types were not available in the clinical records for all but 8 patients and insufficient amounts of sera were left for standard blood typing methods. To test the hypothesis, therefore, we developed a new glycan microarray-based method for determining ABO blood type. The method requires only 4 μL of serum, provides 97% accuracy, and allows simultaneous profiling of many other serum anti-glycan antibodies. After validation with 220 healthy subjects of known blood type, the method was then applied to 74 PROSTVAC-VF patients and 37 control patients from a phase II trial. In this retrospective study, we found that type B and O PROSTVAC-VF patients demonstrated markedly improved clinical outcomes relative to A and AB patients, including longer median survival, longer median survival relative to Halabi predicted survival, and improved overall survival via Kaplan-Meier survival analysis (p = 0.006). Consequently, blood type may provide an inexpensive screen to pre-select patients likely to benefit from PROSTVAC-VF therapy.

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