A Norwegian biotechnology company recently announced that the 21-month followup data from its clinical stage immunotherapy trials revealed promising results for mesothelioma patients who are also undergoing chemotherapy to treat their rare and deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The results of the study show that at least half of the patients who took the company’s immuno-oncology drug while undergoing chemotherapy are still alive, compared to an average survival rate of just over a year for those who did not.
Targovax ASA’s phase I/II trial of its ONCOS-102 aims to assess the safety, immune activation and clinical efficacy of the drug taken in combination with a patient’s chemotherapy regimen compared to those who underwent the standard chemotherapy only. The study examined 31patients in total, with 20 receiving the ONCOS-102 immunotherapy drug which targets hard to kill mesothelioma tumor cells. “It is most encouraging that survival continues to track so well in the ONCOS-102-treated first line group,” said Targovax’s chief medical officer . “We have earlier seen and reported how ONCOS-102 drives profound remodeling of the tumor microenvironment. It is now becoming clear that this is translating into long-term survival benefit.”
Mesothelioma has a latency period of anywhere from 20 to 50 years, which means decades can pass after exposure to asbestos before doctors are able to make a diagnosis, leaving many patients with diminished treatment options. Oftentimes, surgery is not an option to kill mesothelioma tumors, and patients are left with only chemotherapy as an option, which can take a toll on the individual’s overall health.