Recently, the Phase I clinical trial of the novel TAA/ecdCD40L cancer vaccine provided an update on it’s first 4 patients. The trial plans to recruit at least 16 more patients in 2015. The vaccine is both therapeutic and preventative, and is designed to work in a variety of common cancers which originate in epithelial tissue, including ovarian, breast, prostate, colon, pancreas and lung cancer. It is believe that the vaccine has no effect on healthy cells.
The TAA/ecdCD40L vaccine is made by the small US biotech company MicroVAX, but the human trial is taking place in Singapore, under a jointly-sponsored program between the US FDA and Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority. This novel vaccine uses a recombinant adenovirus vector to deliver 2 special molecules to cancer cells: a MUC-1 antigen protein which is expressed in epithelial cancers but not healthy cells, and the CD40 ligand to boost the body’s immune system.
Of the 4 metastatic or recurrent patients who have thus far received the vaccine, 2 have ovarian cancer while the other 2 have breast cancer. The vaccine, which is administered as a simple subcutaneous shot, was well tolerated with no significant adverse effects. One of the breast cancer patients experienced a transient skin rash about 2 weeks after treatment. Skin rashes are common immune system reactions.
One of the ovarian cancer patients has stage IV disease that has been stable since she entered the trial last October. She flies in every 2 weeks from her home in Helsinki, Finland, highlighting the dramatic need for new solutions in this type of cancer in particular.
Sinapore’s National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), which treats 70% of that country’s cancer patients, runs the MicroVAX TAA/ecdCD40L Phase I trial. For inquiries to participate in the trial, the public can contact NCCS’s clinical research coordinator, Ms. Chong Hui Shan at +65 6436-8431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.