In October, MesotheliomaHelp reported about the
“impressive” results of a mesothelioma clinical trial for an immunotherapy drug known as CRS-207. Last week, researchers reported at the European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland that the positive Phase 1b trial results has led to a randomized trial that should kick off in 2016.
According to Aduro Biotech’s website, the company reports, “we plan to advance directly to a Phase 3 clinical trial with CRS-207 in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy in patients with unresectable MPM [malignant pleural mesothelioma].”
“CRS-207 is an exciting agent for patients with mesothelioma,” said Prof Thierry Jahan, professor of medicine at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco, as reported by ScienceDaily from the lung cancer conference. “Our preliminary results are encouraging, suggesting superior clinical activity when added to standard chemotherapy.”
CRS-207 is a live bacterium that has been genetically-modified to reduce its capacity to cause disease, while maintaining its ability to stimulate potent immune responses, as noted by Auduro Biotech, the maker of the drug. The drug is designed to cause an immune response against the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin, which has been shown to be present at higher levels on mesothelioma than on normal cells.
The Phase 1b trial that used the standard chemotherapy regimen, pemetrexed and cisplatin, to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma, in combination with CRS-207, was designed to evaluate whether giving the CRS-207 cancer vaccine with the chemotherapy duo will induce anti-tumor immune responses and/or objective tumor response.
Patients in the trial receiving the combination treatment showed partial response and 35% had stable disease, for an overall 94% disease control rate, according to the ScienceDaily.
“Patients receiving the combination of CRS-207 and chemotherapy had a deep response, with more than 90% disease control,” said Jahan.
Pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-caused cancer of the lining of the lungs. The terminal cancer is highly aggressive and, as a result, is very challenging to treat. While chemotherapy is often the primary treatment modality, progress with immunotherapy drugs has brought hope to the mesothelioma community.
Nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Many of them rely on clinical trials like this one for the opportunity to receive new, potentially curative therapies.
Aduro Biotech, Inc. is a private, clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the development of technology platforms to stimulate an immune response against cancer.
To find out more about the CRS-207 clinical trial see ClinicalTrials.gov.