American Association for Cancer Research

AACR Press Releases

Vaccine Yielded Encouraging Long-term Survival Rates in Certain Patients With NSCLC


April 4, 2012

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  • Patients with nonprogressive disease had improved survival rates.
  • Five-year survival rate for stage 3B/4 patients was 50 percent. 
CHICAGO — Long-term follow-up of a phase II clinical trial showed encouraging survival in some patients with stage 3B/4 non-small cell lung cancer treated with belagenpumatucel-L, a therapeutic vaccine. The findings were presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held March 31 - April 4.

“This is a novel immunotherapy that appears to show unusually long survival in some patients,” said Lyudmila Bazhenova, M.D., associate clinical professor at the University of California-San Diego Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla, Calif.

These findings represent an updated long-term survival analysis on patients treated with belagenpumatucel-L, a cell-based allogeneic vaccine derived from four lung cancer cell lines.

The open-label study included 75 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) — two patients with stage 2 disease, 12 with stage 3A, 15 with stage 3B and 46 with stage 4. The researchers randomly assigned patients to three dose cohorts: 1.25, 2.5 or 5 × 107 cells/injection.

For all patients, median survival was 14.5 months, and the five-year survival rate was 20 percent. The 40 patients with stage 3B/4 cancer enrolled in the second and third dose cohorts had a median survival of 15.9 months and a one-year survival rate of 61 percent, a two-year survival rate of 41 percent and a five-year survival rate of 18 percent.

Patients with stage 3B/4 nonprogressive disease after chemotherapy had a median survival of 44.4 months; five-year survival was 50 percent, which is “unheard of for patients with NSCLC,” Bazhenova said.

In contrast, patients who progressed after front-line chemotherapy had a median survival rate of 14.1 months and a 9.1 percent five-year survival rate.

Bazhenova said that although these results are intriguing, they must be confirmed in a phase III clinical trial, which is currently under way in eight countries.

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About the AACR

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 18,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration and scientific oversight of individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer.  

For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Moore
(215) 446-7109
Jeremy.Moore@aacr.org
In Chicago, March 31 - April 4:
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