Open Actively Recruiting

Pembrolizumab and a Vaccine (ATL-DC) for the Treatment of Surgically Accessible Recurrent Glioblastoma


Brief Summary

This phase I trial studies the side effects and how well of pembrolizumab and a vaccine therapy (ATL-DC vaccine) work in treating patients with glioblastoma that has come back (recurrent) and can be removed by surgery (surgically accessible). Immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies, such as pembrolizumab, may help the body's immune system attack the cancer, and may interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Vaccines, such as ATL-DC vaccine, may help the body build an effective immune response to kill tumor cells. Giving pembrolizumab and ATL-DC vaccine may work better in treating patients with glioblastoma compared to ATL-DC alone.

Primary Purpose
Study Type
Phase 1


Healthy Volunteers
Minimum Age
18 Years
Maximum Age

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Participants with histologically confirmed diagnosis of surgically accessible recurrent/progressive glioblastoma will be enrolled in this study
  • Be at first or second relapse (Note: relapse is defined as progression following initial therapy, i.e., radiation +/- chemotherapy. For participants who had prior therapy for a low-grade glioma, the surgical diagnosis of a high-grade glioma will be considered the first relapse)
  • Must be undergoing surgery that is clinically indicated, and eligible for resection with the expectation that the surgeon is able to resect at least 2 gram of tumor for lysate and research with low risk of inducing neurological injury
  • A male participant must agree to use a contraception during the treatment period and for at least 120 days after the last dose of study treatment and refrain from donating sperm during this period
  • A female participant who has childbearing potential must have negative urine or serum pregnancy test 72 hrs prior to the first dose and be willing to use adequate method of contraception for course of study and 120 days after last dose
  • The participant (or legally acceptable representative if applicable) provides written informed consent for the trial
  • Have unequivocal evidence for contrast enhancing tumor progression by RANO criteria based on MRI scan within 14 days prior to randomization
  • Have a minimum tumor size of 2 x 2 cm^2 based on MRI scan prior to surgery
  • An interval of the following durations prior to randomization:
    • At least 28 days from prior surgical resection
    • At least 7 days from prior stereotactic biopsy
    • At least 12 weeks from prior radiotherapy, unless there is unequivocal histologic confirmation of tumor progression
    • At least 23 days from prior chemotherapy
    • At least 42 days from nitrosureas
  • Have sufficient archival tumor tissue confirming glioblastoma or variants for submission following registration. The following amount of tissue is required: 1 formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue block (preferred) or 10 FFPE ,unstained slides (5um thick)
  • Have a Karnofsky performance status (KPS) >= 70
  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1500/uL (uL=microliter) (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)
  • Platelets >= 100 000/uL (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)
  • Hemoglobin >= 9.0 g/dL or >= 5.6 mmol/L (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)
    • Criteria must be met without erythropoietin dependency and without packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusion within last 2 weeks
  • Creatinine =< 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) OR measured or calculated creatinine clearance >= 30 mL/min for participant with creatinine levels > 1.5 x institutional ULN (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment) (glomerular filtration rate [GFR] can also be used in place of creatinine or creatinine clearance [CrCl])
    • Creatinine clearance (CrCl) should be calculated per institutional standard
  • Total bilirubin =< 1.5 x ULN OR direct bilirubin =< ULN for participants with total bilirubin levels > 1.5 x ULN (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT]) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase [SGPT[) =< 2.5 x ULN (=< 5 x ULN for participants with liver metastases) (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)
  • International normalized ratio (INR) OR prothrombin time (PT) =< 1.5 x ULN unless participant is receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) is within therapeutic range of intended use of anticoagulants (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)
  • aPTT =< 1.5 x ULN unless participant is receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or aPTT is within therapeutic range of intended use of anticoagulants (collected within 14 days prior to the start of study treatment)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • A woman of childbearing potential (WOCBP) who has a positive urine pregnancy test within 72 hours prior to randomization. If the urine test is positive or cannot be confirmed as negative, a serum pregnancy test will be required
  • Has received prior therapy with an anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, or anti-PD-L2 agent or with an agent directed to another stimulatory or co-inhibitory T-cell receptor (e.g., CTLA-4, OX-40, CD137)
  • Has received prior systemic anti-cancer therapy including investigational agents within 4 weeks prior to randomization
    • Note: Participants must have recovered from all adverse events (AEs) due to previous therapies to =< grade 1 or baseline. Participants with =< grade 2 neuropathy may be eligible
    • Note: If participant received major surgery, they must have recovered adequately from the toxicity and/or complications from the intervention prior to starting study treatment
  • Has received prior radiotherapy within 2 weeks of start of study treatment. Participants must have recovered from all radiation-related toxicities, not require corticosteroids, and not have had radiation pneumonitis. A 1-week washout is permitted for palliative radiation (=< 2 weeks of radiotherapy) to non-central nervous system (CNS) disease
  • Has received a live vaccine within 30 days prior to the first dose of study drug. Examples of live vaccines include, but are not limited to, the following: measles, mumps, rubella, varicella/zoster (chicken pox), yellow fever, rabies, Bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG), and typhoid vaccine. Seasonal influenza vaccines for injection are generally killed virus vaccines and are allowed; however, intranasal influenza vaccines (eg, FluMist) are live attenuated vaccines and are not allowed
  • Is currently participating in or has participated in a study of an investigational agent or has used an investigational device within 4 weeks prior to the first dose of study treatment
    • Note: Participants who have entered the follow-up phase of an investigational study may participate as long as it has been 4 weeks after the last dose of the previous investigational agent
  • Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or is receiving chronic systemic steroid therapy (in dosing exceeding 10 mg daily of prednisone equivalent) or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to the first dose of study drug
  • Has a known additional malignancy that is progressing or has required active treatment within the past 3 years
    • Note: Participants with basal cell carcinoma of the skin, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or carcinoma in situ (e.g. breast carcinoma, cervical cancer in situ) that have undergone potentially curative therapy are not excluded
  • Has known tumor primarily localized to the brainstem or spinal cord
  • Has severe hypersensitivity (>= grade 3) to pembrolizumab and/or any of its excipients
  • Has active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years (i.e. with use of disease modifying agents, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs). Replacement therapy (e.g., thyroxine, insulin, or physiologic corticosteroid replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a form of systemic treatment
  • Has a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis that required steroids or has current pneumonitis
  • Has an active infection requiring systemic therapy
  • Has a known history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Has a known history of hepatitis B (defined as hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] reactive) or known active hepatitis C virus (defined as hepatitis C virus [HCV] ribonucleic acid [RNA] is detected) infection. Note: no testing for hepatitis B and hepatitis C is required unless mandated by local health authority
  • Has a known history of active TB (Bacillus tuberculosis)
  • Has a history or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality that might confound the results of the study, interfere with the subject's participation for the full duration of the study, or is not in the best interest of the subject to participate, in the opinion of the treating investigator
  • Has known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial
  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the study, starting with the screening visit through 120 days after the last dose of trial treatment

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Study Stats
Protocol No.
Brain Cancer
  • UCLA Westwood
For Providers
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