The Houston cancer center says it has invested $40 million in its immunotherapy research platform, including a grant that was used to lure Allison away from New York. And among the research programs it has underway are at least two projects aiming at customizing a T cell attack on cancer.
The drug, LDE225, is an oral therapy for basal cell carcinoma, which Novartis said accounts for more than 80% of non-melanoma cancers. In a mid-stage study, the treatment met its primary efficacy endpoint of objective response rate at 6 months, Novartis said, including complete response, in which patients are left with no signs of cancer, and partial response, wherein subjects chart clinically significant tumor shrinkage. In keeping with industry norms, Novartis is withholding the study's full data with plans to present them at a later scientific meeting.
Those top-line results show a lot of promise for a patient population with limited treatment options, and Novartis oncology president Alessandro Riva said in a statement that the company is pleased with LDE225's potential and "look(s) forward to sharing these data with regulatory authorities worldwide."
Investigators at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have been pioneering the use of genetically modified T cells to fight cancer. And to underscore the potential of this technology, which they have used to help start up the high-profile Juno Therapeutics, new human data has produced another round of jaw-dropping outcomes from a small but influential study.
MSKCC investigators say that in a study with 16 patients their modified T cells produced complete remission in 88% of patients with advanced adult B cell lymphoblastic leukemia. Only 30% of patients in the control arm responded to salvage chemotherapy.
Houston biotech DNAtrix has secured a $10.8 million grant to fund clinical development of its oncolytic virus to treat brain cancer, contending with a trove of drugmakers in the promising space.
The money, supplied by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), will help DNAtrix advance DNX-2401, a genetically modified adenovirus designed to selectively invade tumor cells in patients with glioblastoma. Once it penetrates its targets, the viral load ruptures and destroys the tumor cells, proliferating its anticancer action while sparing healthy tissue, the company said.
Tras décadas de estudios, últimamente los científicos han logrado comprobar que el cáncer de varios pacientes ha sido curado precisamente por efecto de la inmunoterapia, algo que la convierte en el punto de viraje para los estudios de esta enfermedad.
Según el informe publicado por la compañía biofarmacéutica Bristol-Myers Squibb, que produce el tratamiento inmunológico para el melanoma, de los 1.800 pacientes curados en el año 2010 el 22% sigue vivo tres años después. El reporte marcó una eficacia de recuperación que antes había sido inalcanzable, incluso para pacientes que se encontraban en las etapas de cáncer más avanzadas.
Sin embargo, hasta el momento no es posible confirmar el efecto definitivo del método de la inmunoterapia contra el cáncer, ya que hacen faltan más estudios y más resultados. Los estudios llevados a cabo por ahora, a pesar de la eficacia declarada, solamente comprobaron sus efectos para curar el cáncer entre un grupo muy limitado de pacientes y solamente se aplica para ciertos tipos de cáncer.
In a paper soon to be released in the Journal of Material Chemistry, scientists at the University of Texas at Arlington report a possible cancer treatment breakthrough using a nanotechnology particle originally developed for studies on luminescence. The researchers found that this nanoparticle emits singlet oxygen as it loses energy, a toxic byproduct that’s used to attack cancer cells in what’s called photodymanic cancer therapy. This new nanotechnology approach could potentially have benefit, with further refinement and testing, in cancer treatment research for a variety of cancer types.
One Cell Type May Quash Tumor Vaccines
New research appearing in the European Journal of Immunology suggests that the failed promise of most cancer vaccines—a way to train the immune system to seek out and destroy early markers of various cancer types—could be related to what are known as T-helper cells. Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University were recently able to boost T-helper cells and “tolerize” them to perform better in cancer vaccine tests related to a variety of cancer types on mice. This breakthrough work could signal new applications for cancer vaccine technology.