Advaxis Inc. said that their experimental cancer treatment was found to produce better survival rates in cervical cancer patients compared to those receiving standard therapy.
Researchers have created an experimental vaccine for cervical cancer treatment made of axalimogene filolisbac, a compound being tested for use to treat head and neck cancers. At least 38.5 percent of the participants survived their cancers for one year after administration of the vaccine. Dr. Tom Herzog from University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute said that patients with recurrent metastasis of their cancers live four to seven months longer thanks to the vaccine even after prior treatments had failed.
"The Stage 1 results for axalimogene filolisbac, which show 12-month survival, are a meaningful step forward in meeting the needs of women who require second-line treatment for persistent or recurrent metastatic carcinoma of the cervix (PRmCC)," Herzog said.
The experiment, sponsored by the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), is an ongoing two staged Phase two study to test the effectives of the vaccine in patients with PRmCC. Stage one findings are based on the progress made by the 26 patient participants who either had persistent or recurring cancers or had undergone prior treatments.
Regarding drug safety, most of the patients did not experience any adverse reactions, though 73 percent of them complained of mild side effects like chills, fatigue and fever. Serious side effects were also noted during use: four patients complained of low blood pressure and one patient experienced a lung infection.
With the success of the experiment, Advaxis and their researchers are confident that an effective treatment for PRmCC is possible. In their press release, Advaxis stated that the GOG had conducted several studies like this in the past in collaboration with other investigating bodies, but none have exceeded the 30 percent 12 month survival rate in PRmCC patients until now. Daniel O'Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis said that the vaccine's success is one of the most encouraging results on clinical trials for PRmCC treatment to date.
"Advaxis is grateful to NRG Oncology and the GOG for having the foresight several years ago to design, sponsor and conduct this study," O'Connor said.
The number of cervical cancer cases is growing worldwide. Cited as one of the most common causes of cancer death in women, about 12,000 patients are being diagnosed every year in the U.S. alone. With the success of the Phase two study, Advaxis has submitted a request for a Phase three study to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to further evaluate the safety of the axalimogene filolisbac.