Monday, April 13, 2020

VB-111 Hits Milestone in Phase III Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer Trial

There has been little progress made in the treatment of platinum resistant ovarian cancer until recently. An international, double-blind study has received the go-ahead to continue with its Phase III study because of very encouraging results to date.

Platinum-resistant OC is defined as a recurrence within 6 months of ending first-line treatment with platinum-based chemo. The definition has also been extended to include cancer progression within 6 months of any subsequent treatment for recurrence.

The study of VB-111 with paclitaxel vs paclitaxel alone, began in December of 2017 and is expected to end in 2023. VB-111 works in two ways to destroy ovarian cancer cells. "VB-111 is a first-in-class anticancer agent that targets tumors through a dual mechanism. In addition to delivering a gene therapy that eliminates a tumor’s blood supply, the viral vector where the gene is inserted induces specific immune responses that lead to cancer cell death."

Richard Penson, M.D., MRCP, is a principal investigator in the OVAL study. He said that the Phase II study results showed a high response rate and better survival. The encouraging results of the Phase III study means that the trial will now continue without changes. 

You can also read more about the study by following this link to OncLive. OncLive requires a sign-up (free) but you get GREAT links to ovarian cancer research videos.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Chemo & Covid: Q & A

Covid 19 has cancer patients worried and rightly so. To that end, the American Cancer Society put together some questions and answers for those who are receiving treatment.

You can access this by following this link.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

MIT’s Koch Institute wins STAT Madness with technology to see tiny ovarian tumors

When I attended a symposium in Boston on Ovarian Cancer several years ago, I was struck by potential ways to help surgeons recognize microscopic oc cells that involved using florescent materials that would, under infared, light up. WOW!

Well thank you Betsy for sending me this article about just this thing. "These probes find ovarian cancer cells by piggybacking on bacteriophages genetically engineered to latch onto a specific protein found in abundance on these invasive cancer cells. Their fluorescence in low wavelengths is boosted by infrared light to show the anatomy — organs and tissues where the tumors are lurking. And a third light source illuminates it all for the surgeon, who is guided by a software-enabled display on a monitor."

The MIT team is in talks w/the FDA for a small, phase I trial in women. To read more about this amazing research, follow this link.