From the blog

ONCOS-102 Improves Pleural Mesothelioma Survival

Published: March 12, 2021

There is promising new data from the makers of ONCOS-102 that shows that the treatment can help improve the long-term survival of mesothelioma patients. ONCOS-102 was recently given Fast-Track approval by the FDA to speed up its development. ONCOS-102 is a modified adenovirus that infects cancer cells. The new mesothelioma patient data is showing that half of the patients being treated with ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy lived for 21 months compared to the typical survival being around one year.

Pleural mesothelioma is a fatal and hard to treat cancer of the mesothelium that surrounds the lungs. The most commonly used treatment is a combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin. It can help patients live a few extra months, but there is no long-term benefit for patients just taking chemotherapy. There are clinical trials going on to see how chemotherapy can be made more effective, which could extend survival. Some include chemotherapy after surgery and others include chemotherapy being used alongside immunotherapy. The ONCOS-102 trial is a phase I/II trial that uses ONCOS-102 alongside chemotherapy. It is being tested as a first- and second-line treatment for mesothelioma.

The study consisted of 31 patients with pleural mesothelioma. Twenty of the patients received ONCOS-102 injections alongside chemotherapy while the other 11 just received chemotherapy. Twelve-month survival data was released last June and 18-month survival data was released last November. All the patients have completed 21 months of follow up. Half the patients taking the ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy combination were still alive. Since there is such a small survival rate for mesothelioma, 21 months is considered a long-term survival for the disease.

Since the trial is still being done, the median overall survival is still not known. It does look like it will be 20.5 months though. This would be different than the patients only receiving chemotherapy because they had an overall survival of 13.5 months. There is also a good chance that ONCOS-102 could be used alongside other immunotherapy treatments to improve survival. The survival data looks similar to the ipilumab and nivolumab combination that was recently approved. This could mean that ONCOS-102 is a solid choice for treating mesothelioma and it could be approved for use in the future. It also shows that immunotherapy can be effective for mesothelioma and we need to continue testing different treatment combinations to benefit patients and help improve mesothelioma survival.

“Continued survival benefit in Targovax’s ONCOS-102 trial in mesothelioma at the 21-month follow-up” Targovax (February 23, 2021). [Link]
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