mRNA Cancer Vaccine
After two years of virtual sessions, the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2022 annual conference was held in person in Chicago from June 3rd to 7th. Over 40,000 oncology specialists from around the world attended the meeting, and researchers delivered over 2,500 abstracts of the most recent studies. Then there were panel talks and plenary sessions.
GSK’s rectal cancer treatment could be game-changing.
One significant piece of data announced at the meeting came from GSK’s ongoing research of its medicine dostarlimab, which included 30 patients, 12 of whom were given the treatment. According to the study’s primary author, all patients who received the medicine experienced complete remission without the need for chemotherapy or surgery.
“Because of these comorbidities and toxicities, there’s been a growing interest in nonoperative care in patients in the field of rectal cancer,” said lead investigator Andrea Cercek. The patients in the research were chosen based on a rare biomarker and received a six-month course of the medicine, which is marketed by GSK under the brand name Jemperli. This patient population accounts for approximately 5% to 10% of all patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Cercek said that the findings underline the importance of biomarker-driven therapy.
Mirati Therapeutics Inc. Adagrasib shows promise in the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer that has spread to the neurological system.
Researchers showed excellent results from Mirati’s cancer medication adagrasib’s Phase 1b research. The individuals in the research had NSCLC that had progressed to their central nervous system. In addition, the individuals had a specific mutation in their KRAS gene. This combination has previously proven to be extremely difficult to cure. In the company’s press announcement, Joshua K. Sabari, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, medical oncology at Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health, stated, “Central nervous system metastases occur in 27 percent to 42 percent of patients with KRAS G12C-mutation NSCLC at diagnosis.” “These patients have a five-month median overall survival, suggesting a risk.”
Mirati’s medication, a KRAS inhibitor, was tested on 19 patients with the illness, and 32% of them responded favorably. “Adagrasib demonstrated CNS penetration and intracranial responses in patients with active and untreated CNS metastases,” stated Charles Baum, Mirati’s head of research and development.
The mRNA vaccine developed by BioNTech for pancreatic cancer shows encouraging results.
BioNTech, an mRNA vaccine business, released phase 1 clinical trial data for their vaccine against Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, or PDAC, a prevalent form of pancreatic cancer that currently has no treatment options. “All medicines are futile, and over 90% of patients die within five years,” said Vinod Balachandran, the study’s lead investigator.
The mRNA vaccination developed by BioNTech works by sending the genetic code for “neoantigens” to the patient’s cells. The code signals the cells to begin manufacturing neoantigens, which are identical to proteins made by cancer cells. Producing these proteins stimulates the immune system, causing it to combat cancer. In the trial, 19 patients with PDAC who had surgery were administered atezolizumab, a monoclonal antibody produced under the brand name Tecentriq by Genetech and used to treat a variety of malignancies. Sixteen of those patients were also given BioNTech’s shot, with half of them responding. Patients who reacted lived longer without any indications or symptoms of cancer than those who did not. The findings pave the path for additional research into the efficacy and safety of mRNA vaccines for PDAC.
The immunotherapy combination developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb showed promising phase 3 outcomes in lung cancer patients.
Bristol-Myers Squibb provided findings from two clinical trials with its Opdivo (nivolumab) plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) medication combination in non-small cell lung cancer. The first was a three-year extension of a phase three experiment. According to the statistics, 27 percent of patients survived after two cycles of chemotherapy and the drug combination, compared to 19 percent of patients treated with chemotherapy alone.
Patients whose cancers expressed low levels of a protein called PD-L1 had a lower chance of survival. This is because low detectable levels of the protein indicate that the cancers are evading the immune system. “While immunotherapy treatments have dramatically improved outcomes for people with metastatic NSCLC,” said lead investigator Luis G. Paz-Ares in a statement. “Unfortunately, many patients, particularly those with low PD-L1 expression, are not obtaining sustained, long-term survival.” BMS’s medications attempt to improve patients’ immunological responses.
BMS also revealed five-year data from a study in which patients were administered the Opdivo-Yervoy combination in the absence of chemotherapy. This combination had a five-year survival rate of 24 percent, compared to 14 percent for chemotherapy alone. Patients with low PD-L1 levels responded well to the medicine as well, with -19% responding to the combination compared to 7% responding to chemotherapy alone. “First and foremost, you’re treating a patient without using chemotherapy. And second, when those patients do survive, they live longer. And third, when they do receive a reaction, it is incredibly durable and long-lasting.”