A look at early #cancertreatments in the news this month

Cancer needle

Phase II clinical data on Agenus' HSPPC-96 vaccine (also known as vitespen) was just announced at the 80th American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting. The study focused on more than 40 patients suffering from Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) the most common and most aggressive of the brain cancer known as gliomas. The cancer is difficult to treat and most patients die within a year. In the study, 93% of the patients were alive at 9 months compared to only 68% with standard treatments. Further studies will look at a combination of the vaccine and bevacizumab.

At the beginning of the month, Galeterone, a product of Tokai Pharmaceuticals, showed efficacy and was well tolerated in a Phase I study. In the trial of 49 patients, nearly half of the patients had a reduction of prostrate specific antigen (PSA) levels, whilst others had a reduction in tumour size.

And finally a ‘universal' cancer vaccine in Phase I/II trials for 15 patients with multiple myeloma recurring after remission. This ‘universal' vaccine, known as ImMucin, works by targeting the MUC1 antigen on the surface of the cells and is being developed by Israeli comoany Vaxil BioTherapeutics. In ongoing trials, the 7 patients which have completed treatment have shown a fall in the number of plasma cells, with 3 of those now back in remission. The story has been hailed in the news worldwide as a miracle cure but at present this can only really be counted as interesting interim Phase I/II results.

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