Personalized Vaccines May Protect Patients With High-Risk Melanoma

Excerpt:

“The field of cancer vaccines may be reinvigorated by a new understanding, and the therapeutic leveraging, of neoantigens. Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston are exploring this novel approach as a means of protecting patients with high-risk melanoma from recurrence. Early results from a phase I study were reported at the 2nd International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference by Patrick A. Ott, MD, PhD, Clinical Director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology.”

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in a First, U.S. Trial to Test Cuban Lung-Cancer Vaccine

Excerpt:

“The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first clinical trial to test a Cuban drug in the United States — a lung-cancer vaccine developed in Havana.

“The decision on the early-stage trial was announced Wednesday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and officials at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, based in Buffalo. The trial could start as soon as next month and will enroll 60 to 90 patients. It is likely to take three years to complete.

“The trial will test the CIMAvax-EGF vaccine, combined with an immunotherapy drug called Opdivo, which has already been approved in the United States. The goal is to see if the pairing improves effectiveness.”

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Cuba's Lung Cancer Vaccine: Hype or Hope?

Excerpt:

“Now that relations between the United States and Cuba are thawing, there has been a growing interest in forming medical partnerships.

“Of particular interest is a lung cancer vaccine called CimaVax, which was developed for non-small cell lung carcinoma. Available in Cuba since 2011, the vaccine has caught the attention of researchers and physicians not only in the United States but in other countries as well.

“But while intriguing, the question remains: Is it really a breakthrough in lung cancer treatment?”

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Celldex Therapeutics’ CDX-1401, CDX-301 Combination Generates Potent NY-ESO-1 Immune Responses in Patients with Melanoma

Excerpt:

“Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CLDX) announced today results from a Phase 2 clinical study evaluating CDX‑1401 and CDX‑301 in patients with malignant melanoma, which was conducted by the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN) under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between Celldex and the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the National Cancer Institute. CDX‑1401 is an NY‑ESO‑1-antibody fusion protein for immunotherapy, and CDX‑301 (recombinant human Flt3 ligand) is a potent hematopoietic cytokine that uniquely expands dendritic cells and hematopoietic stem cells. Results from the study were presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago in a poster titled ‘A Phase 2, Open-label, Multicenter, Randomized Study of CDX‑1401, a Dendritic Cell Targeting NY‑ESO‑1 Vaccine, in Patients with Malignant Melanoma Pre-Treated with CDX‑301, a Recombinant Human Flt3 Ligand.’ ”

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Expert Discusses Promise of CRS-207 Vaccine in Mesothelioma

Excerpt:

“The investigational cancer vaccine CRS-207 may improve response and survival when given with chemotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) according to results of a phase Ib trial.

“CRS-207, a live-attenuated, double-deleted Listeria monocytogene engineered to express the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin, was administered with chemotherapy to 38 patients with MPM. Of 34 evaluable patients, 59% (n = 20) had partial response posttreatment and 35% (n = 12) had stable disease, for an overall disease-control rate 94%. Median progression-free survival was 8.5 months and median overall survival had not been reached.

“Immunohistochemistry data from 3 patients revealed an increase in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) post–CRS-207. Treatment-associated changes in circulating immune cells and biomarkers were also observed.”

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Long-Term Survival Achieved in Metastatic Melanoma With Personalized Vaccine

Excerpt:

“Two patients with melanoma that had spread to the liver survived for at least 8.5 and 12 years after resection of the hepatic tumor and treatment with patient-specific immunotherapeutic vaccines. The vaccines, designed to activate the immune system against the tumor, were derived from the patients’ own dendritic cells loaded with proteins isolated from their tumors, as described in an article published in Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals.

“Robert O. Dillman, MD, formerly Vice President Oncology, Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. and currently Chief Medical Officer, NeoStem Oncology (Irvine, CA) and Executive Medical and Scientific Director, Hoag Cancer Institute (Newport Beach, CA) discusses the typically poor prognosis for patients with melanoma of the eye or skin that spreads to the liver, and reports on the potential to achieve long-term survival without disease progression in a subset of patients using the eltrapuldencel-T vaccine. One patient had no disease progression for more than 4.5 years, while the other patient survived and remained disease-free for more than 12 years.”

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FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to WT1 Cancer Vaccine for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

“The FDA granted orphan drug designation to the WT1 cancer vaccine for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

“The FDA based the designation on results from a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of the WT1 vaccine (SLS-001, SELLAS Life Sciences) in 40 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Results showed patients assigned the vaccine experienced longer median OS (21.4 months vs. 16.6 months) and median PFS (11.4 months vs. 5.7 months) than those assigned placebo. The vaccine also demonstrated a favorable safety profile, according to researchers.

“A phase 2b/3 trial in malignant pleural mesothelioma is expected to begin by the third quarter of this year.”

 


T Cells That Recognize HER2 Teceptor May Prevent HER2+ Breast Cancer Recurrence

“Recurrence of HER2-positive breast cancer after treatment may be due to a specific and possibly cancer-induced weakness in the patient’s immune system—a weakness that in principle could be corrected with a HER2-targeted vaccine—according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Results of the study show that T cells from patients whose breast cancer had recently recurred showed far weaker response to the HER2 receptor protein, compared to T cells from patients whose breast cancer had not recurred over a long period following treatment. The study, published in JAMA Oncology this week, suggests that patients with HER2-positive breast cancer—which accounts for roughly 20 percent of the 260,000 invasive breast cancers diagnosed in the US each year—might someday undergo immune status monitoring with blood tests before, during and after treatment, to allow physicians to gauge the risk of recurrence, and possibly to reduce that risk with therapies that boost anti-HER2 immunity.”


Bringing Cuba's Lung Cancer Vaccine to the States

“Amid a historic normalizing of relations between the United States and Cuba, a potentially game-changing step was recently taken in the field of lung cancer research.

“When thinking about cutting-edge scientific innovation, Cuba may not immediately come to mind. Relations between the United States and the small island nation to the south of Florida grew tense during the height of the Cold War, and the two countries have been locked in a trade embargo since 1962. Only very recently have diplomatic relations thawed, opening the door for collaboration.

“A mystery to generations of Americans, Cuba is often thought of as being stuck in a bygone era. Having made multiple trips to Cuba over the last three years, I can tell you that is not the case.”