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UPDATE 1-Amgen Melanoma Drug Fails to Improve Overall Survival Rates

"Amgen Inc said its experimental drug to treat a deadly form of skin cancer did not significantly improve overall survival rates in patients enrolled in a late-stage study.


"The company said the drug met the study's main goal of shrinking tumors, as it had previously reported, but did not meet the secondary goal of improving overall survival in patients with melanoma."


Editor's note: Earlier results from this trial showed that the drug (called T-Vec) improved "progression free survival," which refers to the length of time before a patient's tumor begins growing again. Now, T-Vec has been shown not to affect overall survival times.

Cancer Commons's insight:

Reuters  |  Apr 4, 2014

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Cancer Vaccine Could Use Immune System to Fight Tumors

Cancer Vaccine Could Use Immune System to Fight Tumors | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

"Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) and UC Cancer Institute researchers have found that a vaccine, targeting tumors that produce a certain protein and receptor responsible for communication between cells and the body's immune system, could initiate the immune response to fight cancer.


"These findings, published in the online edition of the journalGene Therapy, build on previously reported research and could lead to new treatments for cancer."


Editor's Note: This cancer vaccine (interleukin-15, or IL-15) is currently being given to patients in several clinical trials for several different types of cancer. Visit clinicaltrials.gov to learn more.

Cancer Commons's insight:

Medical News Today  |  Mar 3, 2014

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Cancer Commons's curator insight, March 3, 2014 1:26 PM

Medical News Today  |  Mar 3, 2014

Cancer Commons's curator insight, March 3, 2014 1:27 PM

Medical News Today  |  Mar 3, 2014

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New Trial Combines Two Immunotherapies Against Melanoma (Yervoy & Prophage)

New Trial Combines Two Immunotherapies Against Melanoma (Yervoy & Prophage) | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Will the FDA-approved immune system booster Yervoy (ipilimumab) work better when combined with an experimental melanoma vaccine? Researchers are about to find out ─ the combination will be tested in a phase II clinical trial of up to 25 people. Ipilimumab doesn’t work on its own in about 70% of people with melanomas. The vaccine, called Prophage, could sharpen immune system attacks because it’s made from people’s own tumors.

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Agenus  |  Jan 14, 2014

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Melanoma Vaccine Fizzles in Phase III Trial

Melanoma Vaccine Fizzles in Phase III Trial | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

New results from an ongoing clinical trial suggest that an experimental vaccine may not keep melanomas from coming back after all. The vaccine targets tumors that express a gene called MAGE-A3, which is active in 65% of melanomas that have begun to spread. However, researchers will continue the phase III trial because even though this treatment does not work on melanomas broadly, it could still control a tumor subtype with a particular mutation. The results of the continued study are expected in 2015. In addition, the MAGE-A3 vaccine is being tested against non-small cell lung cancer in another phase III trial, and initial findings are expected in 2014.

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Reuters│Sep 5, 2013

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New Combination Vaccine for Melanoma Enters Early Clinical Trial

New Combination Vaccine for Melanoma Enters Early Clinical Trial | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

A new clinical trial is underway for an immune system booster that makes an experimental vaccine against melanomas work better. The experimental vaccine is gp100, a protein made by melanoma cells, and the immune system booster is a heat shock protein. The latter got its name because it protects other proteins from heat and other forms of stress, but heat shock proteins also stimulate the immune response. The phase I trial of this combination vaccine will include 12 to 20 people with melanomas that have spread, and is currently recruiting participants.

Cancer Commons's insight:

Roswell Park Cancer Institute│Jun 28, 2013

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Amgen Vaccine Triggers Immune Response in Advanced Melanoma -Study

"An experimental Amgen Inc cancer vaccine used to treat advanced melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, proved effective in a late-stage study in shrinking tumors in a way that suggests the drug triggered the intended systemic immune response, according to data presented on Friday.

"The vaccine shrank tumors that were directly injected with the drug and tumors around the body that were not injected, according to the data.

"The drug, talimogene laherparepvec, also known as T-vec, is an engineered virus designed to replicate inside the injected tumor, killing cancer cells there, as well as prime the immune system to attack other cancer cells around body."

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Reuters  |  Mar 14, 2014

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Personalized Vaccines May Boost Survival After Interleukin Treatment

Personalized Vaccines May Boost Survival After Interleukin Treatment | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

High doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) can shrink melanomas but only 15% of people are still alive five years after this treatment. Now, new research shows that giving people vaccines against their own tumors could boost survival after IL-2 treatment. In a study of 149 people with melanomas that had spread, those treated with both IL-2 and a personalized vaccine lived far longer than those treated with IL-2 alone (nearly 40 vs. 12 months, respectively). In addition, people were far more likely to be alive at five years when given the vaccine before IL-2 treatment than when the order was reversed (46% vs. 14%, respectively).

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Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals  |  Jan 24, 2014

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T-VEC Keeps Shrinking Melanomas

An experimental vaccine that is injected into melanomas can shrink them for an average of 8 months, according to findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2013 meeting. Called talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), this immunotherapy consists of a virus engineered to carry human genes for granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating growth factor (GM-CSF). Once inside a tumor, T-VEC kills tumor cells both by bursting them and by boosting the immune response against them. In a phase III clinical trial, melanomas shrank in 16% of those injected with T-VEC (48 out of 295) compared to just 2% of those treated directly with GM-CSF (30 out of 141). Moreover, melanomas disappeared completely in more than 10% of those treated with T-VEC. Doctors caution that because T-VEC is injected into melanomas, this treatment is only practical for people with accessible tumors.

Cancer Commons's insight:

Clinical Oncology News  |  Dec  2013

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New Melanoma Vaccine Uses People's Own Immune System Cells

New Melanoma Vaccine Uses People's Own Immune System Cells | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

While an immune system booster called IL-12p70 helps people fight cancer, this protein is toxic when injected into people systemically. Now, a new study shows how to boost levels of this protein in melanomas safely. The researchers developed a vaccine that includes immune system cells from the bodies of people with melanoma. These cells then stimulate production of the immune system booster IL-12p70 in tumors. In a phase I clinical trial, the vaccine increased IL-12p70 levels in six of seven people with melanoma, and one of them was in complete remission more than 4 years later. This trial is currently accepting new participants.

Cancer Commons's insight:

The Journal of Clinical Investigation│Jul 11, 2013

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Vaccine Targets Melanomas in Early Trial

Vaccine Targets Melanomas in Early Trial | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Like many cancers, melanomas look like healthy cells to our immune system. But melanomas have unique protein fragments (peptides) on their cell surfaces that make them stand out from normal cells. A new study suggests that our immune systems can be redirected to target these cancer-specific peptides — and so melanomas. In an ongoing phase I clinical trial, the researchers found that an anti-melanoma vaccine shrank tumors in both of the people with melanomas that had spread. One of these people now has no evidence of melanoma.

Cancer Commons's insight:

Journal of Clinical Investigation│June 24, 2013

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