Preliminary findings from a phase III, multicenter trial show that adding a novel cancer vaccine—called gp100:209-217(210M) peptide—to standard therapy doubles response rates and extends progression-free survival in patients with metastatic melanoma, without causing significant side effects (abstract CRA9011).
“This study is one of the first to show positive, promising results for a cancer vaccine in melanoma” said lead author Douglas Schwartzentruber, MD, medical director of the Center for Cancer Care at Goshen Health System in Indiana and clinical associate professor of surgery at Indiana University.
In this study, response rate, progression-free survival (the time it took for cancer to progress), and overall survival were compared between 86 patients who were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine plus interleukin (IL)-2 (Proleukin), and 93 patients who received IL-2 alone. More than twice as many patients in the vaccine group responded to treatment with tumor shrinkage (22.1% vs 9.7%). Progression-free survival and overall survival were also longer in the vaccine group (2.9 months and 17.6 months, respectively) compared with the IL-2 only group (1.6 months and 12.8 months). Researchers reported a trend toward improved overall survival among patients who received it along with standard therapy, who lived nearly 5 months longer than those who received standard therapy alone.