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Dendritic cell immunotherapy is safe and clinically active in mesothelioma

Friday 09 December 2016

Dendritic cell immunotherapy MesoPher® is safe and clinically active in mesothelioma

Amphera B.V. today announces the positive results of the clinical study with MesoPher in patients with malignant mesothelioma.

Amphera B.V., a spin-off company of Erasmus MC, develops dendritic cell immunotherapies for malignant mesothelioma and other cancers.

Malignant mesothelioma is a fatal cancer caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers. Researchers of Erasmus MC, The Netherlands have developed an innovative immunotherapy for mesothelioma. This new therapy, MesoPher activates the patient’s own immune system against the tumour. MesoPher consists of autologous dendritic cells loaded with allogeneic tumour cell lysate.

Amphera B.V. performed a clinical study with this new approach. Prof Joachim Aerts MD PhD, pulmonary oncologist at Erasmus MC has presented the results of this study at the IASLC 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Vienna on December 6, 2016.

The key conclusions are:

 ·         MesoPher is safe and clinically active. In all patients an immunological (T-cell) response was induced. In 2 patients a long lasting partial response was observed; 7 patients had stable disease as best response. At this moment there is a median survival of 24 months after diagnosis. These data are promising and are maturing as all patients are still alive. Median overall survival after diagnosis of mesothelioma patients is generally about 12 months.

·         The study demonstrated that dendritic cell immunotherapy can turn ‘cold’ mesothelioma tumours into ‘hot’ tumours. This is an exciting result, as this primes the tumour for increased efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. First clinical data show that by adding a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor, a reactivation of the immune system was induced.

 A much larger randomized clinical trial to ascertain the efficacy of the dendritic cell immunotherapy as a maintenance treatment (i.e. after chemotherapy) will start in 2017.

Link to press release of Erasmus MC, Rotterdam: http://www.erasmusmc.nl/perskamer/archief/2016/5978477/?lang=en