The ONCOS-102 immunotherapy vaccine is still showing promising results. Information from November shows when patients take the treatment with chemotherapy, it helped patients survive a minimum of 18.2 months. The median overall survival was four months better in the experimental group compared to the control group. Targovax, the maker of the treatment, believes that it will become a standard of care for mesothelioma in the future.
The study is ongoing in France and Spain and has 31 patients with 20 patients receiving the chemotherapy and immunotherapy combination. Many of the patients had advanced cancer that was inoperable. More than half the patients were still living at the 18 month follow up, which shows the treatment has promise. Results from the study are showing that the immune system is activated and has a strong response to the treatment.
It is possible that this treatment could be approved for mesothelioma patients soon. This would come after another approval of the drug combination Opdivo and Yervoy as a first line treatment. Targovax will be doing another clinical trial using ONCOS-102 alongside the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, which will start in early 2021.
The studies are showing that the best results come from ONCOS-102 being used alongside another treatment. Keytruda has been approved as a second line treatment for mesothelioma but it is only approved for people with high levels of PD-L1, a protein on cell surfaces. Doctors believe that ONCOS-102 alongside Keytruda will be a very effective treatment and will help more patients. Only a third of mesothelioma patients are able to receive aggressive surgery because the cancer has spread too much, so new treatments need to be found.
Standard care for mesothelioma is usually pemetrexed and cisplatin. The median overall survival for patients taking this treatment is usually 12 months. ONCOS-102 is a virus that has been engineered to only infect cancer cells and activate the immune system. Other cancers it is being tested on include colorectal cancer and melanoma.