Vax Before Cancer

 → October 20th, 2020

Eliminating fake vaccine news with pharmacist, nurse, and physician review.

Oct 17 • 2:07 pm CDT

An Ontario Medical Association (OMA) podcast published on October 15, 2020, is emphasizing the importance of Ontario adolescents getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine either through their schools or public health units, reported Len Gillis, local journalism initiative reporter.

The OMA podcast featured a conversation with Dr. Amanda Selk, an OB/GYN who practices at Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Toronto General Hospital, in Canada.

Oct 16 • 7:59 am CDT

The study results from a Phase Ib clinical trial published in the journal Cell on October 15, 2020, indicate the safety and preliminary efficacy of combined treatment with the personalized, neoantigen-based vaccine NEO-PV-01, and the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo), for patients with advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, or bladder cancer.

These data support the safety and immunogenicity of this regimen in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Neoantigens arise from mutations in cancer cells and are important targets of T cell-mediated anti-tumor immunity. 

Oct 15 • 10:42 am CDT

New Jersey-based Merck announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an expanded label for KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL).

The approval is based on results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-204 trial in which KEYTRUDA significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 35% (HR=0.65 [95% CI, 0.48-0.88; p<0.0027]) compared to brentuximab vedotin (BV).

Additionally, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 13.2 months (95% CI, 10.9-19.4) for patients treated with KEYTRUDA and 8.3 months (95% CI, 5.7-8.8) for patients treated with BV.

The FDA also approved an updated pediatric indication for KEYTRUDA for the treatment of pediatric patients with refractory cHL, or cHL that has relapsed after two or more lines of therapy.

Oct 14 • 8:31 pm CDT

A new study published by eLife on October 13, 2020, found cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may reduce cancer risk in humans through a pathway unrelated to cholesterol. These results predict that statins reduce cancer risk but other lipid-lowering treatments do not.

'Our work highlights that the effectiveness of statins must be urgently evaluated by large clinical trials for potential use in cancer prevention,' stated senior author Stephen Burgess, Group Leader at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, part of the University of Cambridge. 

Oct 14 • 6:13 pm CDT

California based Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. and Cancer Research UK announced on October 13, 2020, encouraging preliminary results from an ongoing Phase 1 clinical study of VAC2 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

VAC2 demonstrated remarkably potent induction of immune responses in all patients dosed to date, with high levels of peripheral antigen-specific immunogenicity observed at multiple time points and confirmed by multimer staining.

On the basis of these findings, and following completion of the ongoing VAC2 clinical study in NSCLC, Lineage will seek to evaluate VAC2 in combination with therapies considered biologically complementary to VAC2, such as chemotherapy and the immune cell protectant properties offered by anti-PD1 immunotherapy.

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