From every bad situation comes an element of good, and this idiom seems to ring truer than ever following the announcement of disappointing results from the Phase III TeloVac trial in pancreatic cancer (press release). Funded by Cancer Research UK and supported by GemVax, a subsidiary of KAEL-GemVax, the TeloVac trial tested the GV1001 vaccine in advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer, and recruited 1062 patients in 52 centres across the UK.
The results presented this week at ASCO, however, were disappointing. There was no significant difference in overall survival between the GV1001 vaccine group and the control group receiving chemotherapy.
It's not all bad news for telomerase vaccine, though. The researchers say they found two possible biomarkers that may predict response to the vaccine, and also that the vaccine could promote an anti-inflammatory effect.
“Although the two vaccine arms did not show an overall significant survival advantage compared to background chemotherapy, we were delighted to see that the vaccine was well tolerated without significant side effects," said J.P. Neoptolemos, Cancer Research UK Liverpool Clinical Trials Unit Director and National Institute for Health Research Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit, University of Liverpool, UK. "In general, we have identified that simultaneous vaccination with chemotherapy provides an effective method for generating both an immune response and also promoting an anti-inflammatory effect. We are encouraged by the finding of potential biomarkers that may serve to identify a group of patients that could respond to the vaccine with improved survival.
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Michelle Kim, Kael-GemVax CEO said “While we are disappointed that the vaccine did not result in a significant survival advantage, we are encouraged by the finding of two possible biomarkers that may predict response to the vaccine and increased survival in a subgroup of patients. Furthermore, we are excited to see that an anti-inflammatory effect was seen in the trial, a finding that reinforces research that is currently being conducted at Kael-GemVax”.
If you want to know more about strategy and innovation in vaccines, you might be interested in attending the World Vaccine Congress Europe 2013, 16-17 October 2013, Lille.