New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Pancreatic cancer vaccine plus immunotherapy and antibody spark immune system response in pancreatic cancers

Date:
July 17, 2023
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
Giving patients with operable pancreatic cancers a three-pronged combination immunotherapy treatment consisting of the pancreatic cancer vaccine GVAX, the immune checkpoint therapy nivolumab and urelemab, an anti-CD137 agonist antibody treatment, is safe, it increases the amount of cancer-killing immune system T cells in the tumors and it appears effective when given two weeks prior to cancer-removal surgery, according to new research.
Share:
FULL STORY

Giving patients with operable pancreatic cancers a three-pronged combination immunotherapy treatment consisting of the pancreatic cancer vaccine GVAX, the immune checkpoint therapy nivolumab and urelemab, an anti-CD137 agonist antibody treatment, is safe, it increases the amount of cancer-killing immune system T cells in the tumors and it appears effective when given two weeks prior to cancer-removal surgery, according to new research directed by Johns Hopkins investigators. A description of the work was published online June 20 in the journal Nature Communications.

This study, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is the latest from an ongoing platform trial formed in 2015 to study immunotherapy treatments before surgery (neoadjuvant) and after surgery (adjuvant) for patients with pancreatic cancer. This format enables researchers to use data generated by the trial to advance development of immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer within the same study.

In this most recent part of the trial, 10 participants received the combination treatment. The median disease-free survival -- the amount of time after treatment during which no cancer is found -- was 33.51 months, and the median overall survival -- time to death -- was 35.5 months. These were higher than found in previous arms of the trial that tested the pancreatic cancer vaccine alone and in combination with nivolumab, but because of the small number of patients, the results did not have statistical significance.

The tumor specimens studied in the recent arm also had much higher amounts of cancer-killing immune cells than specimens from patients given only the vaccine or the vaccine plus nivolumab.

The results suggest that this therapy combination warrants further study in a larger clinical trial, says senior study author Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence and professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The platform trial has two purposes regarding pancreatic cancer treatments given during the two-week "window of opportunity" prior to surgery, Zheng says. First, it allows the immunotherapies to teach the patient's immune cells how to respond to tumors, so they can continue surveillance later if the cancer recurs. Second, it enables investigators to see, by evaluating the tumors removed during surgery, how well the tumors respond to the treatment. A fourth arm of the trial, studying anti-interleukin-8 neutrophil-blocking antibodies in pancreatic tumors, is ongoing.

 


Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thatcher Heumann, Carol Judkins, Keyu Li, Su Jin Lim, Jessica Hoare, Rose Parkinson, Haihui Cao, Tengyi Zhang, Jessica Gai, Betul Celiker, Qingfeng Zhu, Thomas McPhaul, Jennifer Durham, Katrina Purtell, Rachel Klein, Daniel Laheru, Ana De Jesus-Acosta, Dung T. Le, Amol Narang, Robert Anders, Richard Burkhart, William Burns, Kevin Soares, Christopher Wolfgang, Elizabeth Thompson, Elizabeth Jaffee, Hao Wang, Jin He, Lei Zheng. A platform trial of neoadjuvant and adjuvant antitumor vaccination alone or in combination with PD-1 antagonist and CD137 agonist antibodies in patients with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Nature Communications, 2023; 14 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-39196-9

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Pancreatic cancer vaccine plus immunotherapy and antibody spark immune system response in pancreatic cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/07/230717115358.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2023, July 17). Pancreatic cancer vaccine plus immunotherapy and antibody spark immune system response in pancreatic cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 19, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/07/230717115358.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Pancreatic cancer vaccine plus immunotherapy and antibody spark immune system response in pancreatic cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/07/230717115358.htm (accessed July 19, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES