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Archive - Mar 31, 2019

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Combination of PD-1 Checkpoint Inhibitor & Antibody to CD40, Together with Standard Chemotherapy, Shows Promise in Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

A new combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer caused tumors to shrink in the majority of evaluable patients, namely 20 out of 24 as of an interim analysis of the phase 1b trial data. The early findings provide hope that this strategy involving an antibody to CD40, a checkpoint inhibitor, and standard-of-care chemotherapy could be effective for treating the nation's third deadliest type of cancer. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) presented the findings on March 31, 2019 in a clinical trials plenary session at the American Association for Cancer Research 2019 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia (Abstract #8060). The title of the presentation is “A Phase Ib Study of CD40 Agonistic Monoclonal Antibody APX005M Together with Gemcitabine (Gem) and Nab-Paclitaxel (NP) with or without Nivolumab (Nivo) in Untreated Metastatic Ductal Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) Patients.” The ongoing study is being conducted in collaboration with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (where/what) and its other member institutions and partners. These are the first clinical trial data ever presented as a result of this collaboration. "These findings give us clues that this new and innovative combination therapy can be effective against pancreatic cancer," said the study's co-lead author Mark H. O'Hara, MD, an Assistant Professor of Hematology-Oncology at Penn, who gave the presentation. "Although only time and further research will truly tell, our data are a reason for optimism." Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common type of pancreatic cancer, and it kills more Americans each year than any cancer type other than lung and colorectal.

Glioblastoma Vaccine Shows Promising Results in Phase Ib Clinical Trial-- More Than 20 Years in the Making, Autologous Tumor-Based Vaccine with Anti-Sense DNA Oligos Suspends Cancer Growth in Early-Stage Trial—Results Termed “Incredibly Important Advance”

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of primary brain cancer, one with a prognosis of 11-15 months with standard treatment. Results from a phase 1b clinical trial of a new experimental glioblastoma vaccine developed by Jefferson Health (https://www.jeffersonhealth.org) and Imvax (https://www.imvax.com/), both in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, show the experimental treatment was tolerated well by patients, slowed tumor recurrence, and prolonged patient survival. The research was presented at an oral session (https://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/6812/presentation/9839)of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2019 annual meeting on March 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The presentation was titled "Results of a Phase Ib Trial of an Autologous Cell Vaccine for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma." Researchers treated 33 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with the novel cancer vaccine (IGV-001) in a prospective phase 1b clinical study and compared outcomes to a historical comparator group of 35 patients treated with standard of care at the same institution. The results showed that patients treated with the vaccine had improved progression-free survival and overall survival compared to the control group treated with standard of care alone. "The response we see in some patients is very encouraging," says David Andrews (https://hospitals.jefferson.edu/find-a-doctor/a/andrews-david-w.html), MD, Professor of Neurosurgery at the Vickie & Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience -- Jefferson Health (https://hospitals.jefferson.edu/departments-and-services/vickie-and-jack...) and Co-Founder, Chief Medical Officer, and interim Chief Executive Officer of Imvax.