Interleukin-15 (IL-15), a potent stimulant of CD8+ T and NK cells, is a promising cancer immunotherapeutic. ALT-803 is a complex of an IL-15 superagonist mutant and a dimeric IL-15 receptor αSu/Fc fusion protein that was found to exhibit enhanced biologic activity in vivo with a substantially longer serum half-life than recombinant IL-15. A single intravenous dose of ALT-803, but not IL-15, eliminated well-established tumors and prolonged survival of mice bearing multiple myeloma. In this study, we extended these findings to demonstrate the superior antitumor activity of ALT-803 over IL-15 in mice bearing subcutaneous B16F10 melanoma tumors and CT26 colon carcinoma metastases. Tissue biodistribution studies in mice also showed much greater retention of ALT-803 in the lymphoid organs compared to IL-15, consistent with its highly potent immunostimulatory and antitumor activities in vivo. Weekly dosing with 1 mg/kg ALT-803 in C57BL/6 mice was well-tolerated, yet capable of increasing peripheral blood lymphocyte, neutrophil and monocyte counts by >8-fold. ALT-803 dose-dependent stimulation of immune cell infiltration into the lymphoid organs was also observed. Similarly, cynomolgus monkeys treated weekly with ALT-803 showed dose-dependent increases of peripheral blood lymphocyte counts, including NK, CD4+, and CD8+ memory T cell subsets. In vitro studies demonstrated ALT-803-mediated stimulation of mouse and human immune cell proliferation and IFN-γ production without inducing a broad-based release of other proinflammatory cytokines (i.e., cytokine storm). Based on these results, a weekly dosing regimen of ALT-803 has been implemented in multiple clinical studies to evaluate the dose required for effective immune cell stimulation in humans.-
- Received April 8, 2015.
- Revision received August 21, 2015.
- Accepted September 3, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.