Updated
September 12th, 2019

Ductal Carcinoma in situ Immunothery Phase 2 Study Completes Enrollment

SELLAS Life Sciences launches nelipepimut-S immunotherapy VADIS trial

group of women celebrating

A New York-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel cancer immunotherapies announced the completion of enrollment for the Phase 2 VADIS trial.

The VADIS trial is a randomized investigator-sponsored trial (IST) of nelipepimut-S (NPS) in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast who are HLA-A2+ or A3+ positive, express HER2 at IHC 1+, 2+, or 3+ levels, and are pre- or post-menopausal.

This small study is important since DCIS is the most common type of breast neoplasm with malignant potential. Moreover, DCIS is diagnosed in more than 60,000 women each year in the United States, comprising 20 percent of newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer.

“The premise of the VADIS study is quite innovative, as it will provide valuable data and give us the opportunity to gauge in a controlled, randomized setting whether NPS can effectively induce an antitumor immune response in DCIS patients," said Angelos M. Stergiou, M.D., ScD h.c., President and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS, in a press release on August 5, 2019.

"We believe NPS could serve as an earlier stage treatment for women with breast cancer and hope to gain through this study further insights on the immunobiological mechanism underlying the clinical activity of NPS."

"The VADIS results could inform us as to potential synergies between NPS and standard therapies in women with DCIS. We are excited to move NPS another step closer to our goal of improving the therapeutic options for breast cancer patients by potentially serving as an early-stage treatment for patients with DCIS."

"We look forward to seeing the initial data by the end of 2019,” said Dr. Stergiou.

This Phase 2 randomized trial is sponsored and operationalized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study NPS’ potential clinical effects in earlier-stage disease. The primary endpoint of the trial is the difference in the frequency of newly induced NPS-cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL; CD8+ T-cell) in peripheral blood between the two arms of the study, using a dextramer assay. 

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Secondary endpoints to be compared between the two arms include the nature and incidence of adverse events and in vivo immune response to NPS, in addition to other select histologic and molecular biomarkers. Initial data from this trial are expected by the end of 2019.

DCIS is defined by the NCI as a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct and have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast.  In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues and, currently, it is not possible to know which lesions could become invasive. 

Current treatment options for DCIS include breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy with or without tamoxifen, breast-conserving surgery without radiation therapy, or total mastectomy with or without tamoxifen. 

Tamoxifen is given in cases with hormone receptor positivity only. No targeted or immune therapies have shown any definitive clinical activity in DCIS to date. 

The current standard treatment aims at forestalling the progression of DCIS to invasive cancer. 

SELLAS is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on novel cancer immunotherapeutics for a broad range of cancer indications.

Published by Vax Before Cancer