The makers of lorvotuzumab mertansine (IMGN901) have halted a clinical trial investigating the use of the drug in extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). An independent monitoring group recommended ending the trial because patients treated with IMGN901 in addition to the chemotherapy agents etoposide (Etopophos) and carboplatin (Paraplatin) fared no better than patients treated with Etopophos and Paraplatin only. Furthermore, the patient group receiving IMGN901 appeared to have higher rates of infections and infection-related deaths, with at least one death potentially related to IMGN901.
A clinical trial at six study sites, including Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, Connecticut, will investigate a new treatment for small cell lung cancer (SCLC). IMGN901 (lorvotuzumab mertansine), produced by ImmunoGen, is a novel type of treatment that targets CD56, a protein that is expressed by tumors in a number of different cancers, including SCLC. Because IMGN901 specifically targets a tumor protein, the toxic drug is delivered preferentially to cancer cells and is less likely to harm healthy cells. Another drug using a similar mechanism was recently approved for breast cancer. To find out more about the trial, call 203-200-5864.
ImmunoGen page on IMGN901: http://www.immunogen.com/pipeline/lorvotuzumab-mertansine/