Investigating Therapeutic Lung Cancer Vaccine
University Hospitals Case Medical Center is currently enrolling patients in START, a Phase III clinical study assessing the efficacy and safety of BLP25 Liposome Vaccine (L-BLP25), an investigational therapeutic lung cancer vaccine designed to treat patients with unresectable, stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). START (Stimulating Targeted Antigenic Responses To NSCLC) is designed to evaluate the survival duration of patients receiving the investigational therapeutic cancer vaccine for the treatment of unresectable stage III NSCLC whose tumors are stable or responding after chemo-radiation.
“New treatments are urgently needed for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer,” said Balazs Halmos, M.D., Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals Case Medical Center and assistant professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “Current standard of care typically provides only limited success, with fewer than 15 percent of patients surviving longer than five years. New drugs are essential to help increase survival rates for these patients.”
Therapeutic cancer vaccines are designed to potentially help the immune system recognize cancer cells, provoke an immune response and stimulate the immune system strongly enough to destroy them. L-BLP25 is the first investigational therapeutic lung cancer vaccine in unresectable stage III NSCLC to enter Phase III testing. Data from a subset of patients with stage IIIB locoregional disease in the Phase IIb study showed a trend toward a survival increase from 13.3 to 30.6 months and encouraged the initiation of the START study.
“Enrolling patients in the START trial is an important milestone in the development of L-BLP25,” said Bruce Gaumond, Senior Clinical Trial Manager for the U.S. and the Americas, EMD Serono. “We look forward to determining whether this treatment increases the survival rate for patients with unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer."
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