Most Read Articles
Dr Margaret Shi, 18 May 2020

A blood test is shown to be feasible and safe for early detection of multiple cancers in women with no current or known history of cancer, enabling early treatment with curative intent in a subset of individuals.

Christina Lau, 20 Apr 2020

Hippocampal avoidance during whole-brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT), together with memantine, better preserves cognitive function vs WBRT plus memantine in patients with brain metastases, without compromising survival, a multi-institutional phase III trial has shown.

Natalia Reoutova, 20 May 2020

Cancer patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be at higher risk of severe outcomes, including death, but cancer type and treatment serve as better predictors, according to recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting I.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, affecting an estimated 4.5 million people and killing over 300,000. Cancer, on the other hand, is newly diagnosed in 18 million people and takes the lives of 10 million every year.

“We have invited physician scientists who are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of patients with cancer. They gathered prospective information to understand the effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, are testing new treatments, and are making this knowledge available to the global research community, so we can all benefit from their experience,” said Professor Antoni Ribas from UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, US, chairperson of the COVID-19 and cancer plenary session of the meeting.

Natalia Reoutova, 28 May 2020

Fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) cycles in combination with endocrine therapy (ET) cause metabolic changes in hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer patients analogous to those observed in animal models, where they are associated with anticancer activity.

Frontline maintenance immunotherapy ups RFS in ovarian cancer

Pearl Toh
30 Apr 2020

Frontline maintenance treatment with a DNA engineered autologous tumour cell (EATC) immunotherapy yields relapse-free survival (RFS) benefit in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, particularly in those with wild-type BRCA1/2 status, according to the VITAL* study presented at the 2020 SGO Annual Meeting.

“Despite advances, overall prognosis for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer remains poor,” said lead investigator Dr Rodney Rocconi from University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, US, who noted that BRCA1/2 wild-type disease, which made up a majority of the ovarian cancer cases, presents an unmet need.

Overall, EATC immunotherapy led to longer RFS than placebo (median, 12.6 vs 8.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; p=0.088), although the difference was not statistically significant between groups. [SGO 2020, abstract LBA 7]

When stratifying the analysis by BRCA status, improvement in RFS became more pronounced and were statistically significant among patients with wild-type BRCA1/2 status (n=67), in favour of EATC immunotherapy from time of randomization (median, 19.4 vs 8.0 months; HR, 0.51; one-sided p=0.05).

Among the patients with BRCA1/2 wild-type disease, 62.5 percent of the women receiving EATC immunotherapy were relapse-free compared with 29 percent of those on placebo, after a median follow-up of 34.3 months.

Further comparison from time of surgery revealed similar RFS benefit in favour of EATC immunotherapy over placebo among wild-type BRCA1/2 patients (HR, 0.49; one-sided p=0.038). The median time from surgery to randomization was 208.5 days in the immunotherapy arm vs 200 days in the placebo arm.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 91 patients with advanced (stage III–IV) ovarian cancer who had shown complete clinical response to upfront surgery and chemotherapy. They were randomized 1:1 to receive intradermal injection of the EATC immunotherapy Vigil at 1 x 107 cells/mL or placebo monthly for up to 12 doses. BRCA1/2 testing showed that 74 percent of the patients had wild-type BRCA1/2 and 26 percent had BRCA1/2 mutations.

There was no increased toxicity with EATC immunotherapy vs placebo: grade 2/3 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 8 percent of patients in the immunotherapy arm compared with 18 percent in the placebo arm. Nausea and musculoskeletal pain were the most common AEs observed among immunotherapy-treated patients, while bone pain and fatigue were most common in the control group. There were no grade 4/5 AEs observed.

“Frontline use of Vigil immunotherapy as maintenance in stage III–IV ovarian cancer is well tolerated and showed trend in RFS clinical benefit … specifically [in] BRCA1 and BRCA2 wild-type disease,” Rocconi said.

Vigil immunotherapy is a EATC vaccine obtained from tumour tissue harvested from the patients. As increased TGF-β expression was associated with poor prognosis in the disease, the autologous tumour cells are engineered to express GMCSF** and bifunctional shRNA against furin, which supress TGF-β levels.

According to the investigators, the vaccine opens the door for immunotherapy in ovarian cancer, which was previously thought infeasible for the disease.  

 

 

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Most Read Articles
Dr Margaret Shi, 18 May 2020

A blood test is shown to be feasible and safe for early detection of multiple cancers in women with no current or known history of cancer, enabling early treatment with curative intent in a subset of individuals.

Christina Lau, 20 Apr 2020

Hippocampal avoidance during whole-brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT), together with memantine, better preserves cognitive function vs WBRT plus memantine in patients with brain metastases, without compromising survival, a multi-institutional phase III trial has shown.

Natalia Reoutova, 20 May 2020

Cancer patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appear to be at higher risk of severe outcomes, including death, but cancer type and treatment serve as better predictors, according to recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting I.

At the time of writing, COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories, affecting an estimated 4.5 million people and killing over 300,000. Cancer, on the other hand, is newly diagnosed in 18 million people and takes the lives of 10 million every year.

“We have invited physician scientists who are at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of patients with cancer. They gathered prospective information to understand the effects of COVID-19 on patients with cancer, are testing new treatments, and are making this knowledge available to the global research community, so we can all benefit from their experience,” said Professor Antoni Ribas from UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, US, chairperson of the COVID-19 and cancer plenary session of the meeting.

Natalia Reoutova, 28 May 2020

Fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) cycles in combination with endocrine therapy (ET) cause metabolic changes in hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer patients analogous to those observed in animal models, where they are associated with anticancer activity.