We have generated an IgG1 murine monoclonal anti-idiotype antibody (Ab2) designated 3H1, which mimics a specific epitope on the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). Patients with CEA positive tumors are immunologically "tolerant" to CEA. We used 3H1 as a surrogate for CEA for vaccine therapy of 12 patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Each of the patients received a minimum of four intracutaneous injections of aluminum hydroxide precipitated 3H1 at either 1, 2, or 4 mg dosage per injection. 9 of 12 patients demonstrated anti-anti-idiotypic (Ab3) response to 3H1. All nine patients generated specific anti-CEA antibody demonstrated by reactivity with radiolabeled purified CEA; some cases were confirmed by immunoprecipitation of purified CEA. We also demonstrated Ab3 stained both autologous and allogeneic colonic tumors. 7 of 12 patients demonstrated idiotype specific T cell proliferative responses and four also showed T cell proliferation to CEA. Toxicity was limited to local reaction with mild fever and chills. All 12 patients eventually progressed after finishing 4-13 dosages. This is the first report demonstrating that a vaccine therapy is capable of breaking "immune tolerance" to CEA in patients with CEA positive tumors. Future studies will focus on treating patients with minimal residual disease.

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Published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, v. 96, no. 1.

© The American Society for Clinical Investigation, Inc.

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

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This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant P01- CA 57165.