The first patient has been enrolled in the newest mesothelioma clinical trial, conducted by Aduro BioTech and designed to test a new vaccine currently known as CRS-207.
In a statement published in a press release issued by Aduro, the company states that the vaccine is “based on Aduro’s platform of attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) strains that have been genetically modified and engineered to induce a potent immune response specific for the mesothelin tumor-associated antigen that is expressed on certain tumor types, including mesothelioma.”
The trial is being conducted at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Newly diagnosed patients who participate in the study will receive two vaccinations with the trial drug. This will be followed by chemotherapy using the drugs Alimta and Cisplatin. Once the chemotherapy is completed, the patients will be given two more “booster” doses of the vaccine.
According to Dr. Dirk Brockstedt, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Aduro, “this trial will evaluate our vaccine treatment for the first time in front-line cancer patients, and we predict a synergistic benefit to their standard chemotherapy.”
A Phase 1 trial with 17 patients who had forms of end-stage cancer including mesothelioma has already evaluated the vaccine, and the results are documented in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.
“Despite a historical average survival time of only 3-5 months for this advanced-cancer patient population, six out of 17 patients treated with CRS-207 in this Phase 1 trial lived 15 months or longer,” the report noted. “These promising results have led to two ongoing clinical trials with CRS-207: the Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer and the new Phase 1B trial in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.”
Currently, the life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is only 18 months after diagnosis. Researchers, doctors, and patients are hopeful that research developments will help add months or even years to this figure.