Using a Person's Own Immune System to Fight Cancer: Phase I Clinical Trial of New Immunotherapy Beginning

“Moffitt Cancer Center has initiated a phase I clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug, ID-G305, made by Immune Design. Immunotherapy is a treatment option that uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. It has several advantages over standard cancer therapies, including fewer side effects and an overall better tolerability. It tends to be most effective in patients who have smaller, localized tumors that have not spread to distant sites.”

Editor’s note: This treatment looks for and targets cells that have the protein NY-ESO-1. Only 10-15% of tumors have NY-ESO-1, and patients’ tumors must test positive for NY-ESO-1 in order for the patients to enroll in the trial. Learn more about immunotherapy and clinical trials here.


Using a Person's Own Immune System to Fight Cancer: Phase I Clinical Trial of New Immunotherapy Beginning

“Moffitt Cancer Center has initiated a phase I clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug, ID-G305, made by Immune Design. Immunotherapy is a treatment option that uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. It has several advantages over standard cancer therapies, including fewer side effects and an overall better tolerability. It tends to be most effective in patients who have smaller, localized tumors that have not spread to distant sites.”

Editor’s note: This treatment looks for and targets cells that have the protein NY-ESO-1. Only 10-15% of tumors have NY-ESO-1, and patients’ tumors must test positive for NY-ESO-1 in order for the patients to enroll in the trial. Learn more about immunotherapy and clinical trials here.


Deploying the Body's Army

“More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.”

Editor’s note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.


Deploying the Body's Army

“More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.”

Editor’s note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.


Deploying the Body's Army

“More than a century ago, American bone surgeon William Coley came across the case of Fred Stein, whose aggressive cheek sarcoma had disappeared after he suffered a Streptococcus pyogenesinfection following surgery to remove part of the large tumor. Seven years later, Coley tracked Stein down and found him alive, with no evidence of cancer. Amazed, Coley speculated that the immune response to the bacterial infection had played an integral role in fighting the disease, and the doctor went on to inoculate more than 10 other patients suffering from inoperable tumors with Streptococcus bacteria. Sure enough, several of those who survived the infection—and one who did not—experienced tumor reduction.”

Editor’s note: This article is a great overview of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Immunotherapy drugs boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Learn more.


Potential Lung Cancer Vaccine Shows Renewed Promise

“Researchers at UC Davis have found that the investigational cancer vaccine tecemotide, when administered with the chemotherapeutic cisplatin, boosted immune response and reduced the number of tumors in mice with lung cancer. The study also found that radiation treatments did not significantly impair the immune response. The paper was published on March 10 in the journal Cancer Immunology Research, an American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) publication.

“Though tecemotide, also known as Stimuvax, has shown great potential at times, the recent Phase III trial found no overall survival benefit for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, further analysis showed one group of patients, who received concurrent chemotherapy and radiation followed by tecemotide, did benefit from the vaccine. As a result, tecemotide’s manufacturer, Merck KGaA, is sponsoring additional post-clinical animal and human studies, so far with good results.”

Editor’s note: Cancer vaccines are meant to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. Stimuvax is a cancer vaccine that was found to have no overall survival benefit for patients in a recent clinical trial. But closer analysis of the trial data and the mouse study mentioned above have raised hopes that the vaccine might work with some combination of chemo and radiation treatment.


Ohio State Partners with MedVax to Bring a Cancer Peptide Vaccine to Patients

“The Ohio State University, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation, has signed an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with MedVax Technologies, Inc., for the licensing of groundbreaking cancer peptide vaccine technologies.

“The anticancer vaccine technologies are designed for the treatment and prevention of cancers associated with the HER2 protein. These include breast, ovarian, lung, colon and pancreatic cancers, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The commitment by MedVax will allow innovative clinical trials for various cancers to be conducted in the near future.”

Editor’s Note: Cancer vaccines are a type of “immune therapy,” which means that they boost a patient’s immune system to fight cancer. To learn more about immune therapies for lung cancer, read our blog feature on the topic.


Amgen Vaccine Triggers Immune Response in Advanced Melanoma -Study

“An experimental Amgen Inc cancer vaccine used to treat advanced melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, proved effective in a late-stage study in shrinking tumors in a way that suggests the drug triggered the intended systemic immune response, according to data presented on Friday.

“The vaccine shrank tumors that were directly injected with the drug and tumors around the body that were not injected, according to the data.

“The drug, talimogene laherparepvec, also known as T-vec, is an engineered virus designed to replicate inside the injected tumor, killing cancer cells there, as well as prime the immune system to attack other cancer cells around body.”


Cancer Vaccine Could Use Immune System to Fight Tumors

“Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) and UC Cancer Institute researchers have found that a vaccine, targeting tumors that produce a certain protein and receptor responsible for communication between cells and the body’s immune system, could initiate the immune response to fight cancer.

“These findings, published in the online edition of the journalGene Therapy, build on previously reported research and could lead to new treatments for cancer.”

Editor’s Note: This cancer vaccine (interleukin-15, or IL-15) is currently being given to patients in several clinical trials for several different types of cancer. Visit clinicaltrials.gov to learn more.