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ASCO: Personalized Cancer Treatments Found Effective

BiovaxID improves survival in follicular lymphoma; trastuzumab cuts death risk in gastric cancer

MONDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Certain personalized treatments can effectively extend survival in patients with different types of cancer, according to several studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from May 29 to June 2 in Orlando, Fla.

In one study, Stephen J. Schuster, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data from 117 follicular lymphoma patients with complete response to prednisone, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide chemotherapy, who were randomized to the BiovaxID vaccine (manufactured with a patient's own cancer cells) plus keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) or to KLH and GM-CSF only. They found that median disease-free survival was 44.2 months in the BiovaxID arm and 30.6 months in the control arm.

Other studies presented showed that in patients with metastatic melanoma, adding gp100:209-217 (210M) peptide to standard therapy increases both progression-free survival and treatment response rates; that trastuzumab plus standard chemotherapy reduces the risk of death in patients with gastric cancer tumors that express high levels of the HER2 protein; and that after surgery, non-small cell lung cancer patients with low or no levels of the MSH2 DNA repair protein respond better to cisplatin-based chemotherapy than those with high levels.

"The more we learn about the genetic mechanics of cancer growth, the more we can harness that knowledge to personalize therapies to each patient's disease. This will improve outcomes, help patients avoid unnecessary side effects and reduce the cost of cancer care," said Sonali Smith, M.D., of the University of Chicago Medical Center, the press briefing's moderator.

Pharmaceutical relationship disclosures were made for the majority of author participants and the moderator.

Abstract - BiovaxID (Follicular Lymphoma)

Physician's Briefing