Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Ends Abruptly
A leading biopharmaceutical company has halted a once-promising mesothelioma clinical trial involving CRS-207 — a listeria-based cancer vaccine — citing efficacy and financial concerns. The phase II trial was designed to test the effectiveness and safety of CRS-207 when used in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a drug already proven effective with non-small cell lung cancer. The trial, which began earlier this year, was being conducted at eight prominent cancer centers across the United States. It was funded by Aduro Biotech Inc., based in Berkley, California. “This was not the news everyone had hoped for,” Steve Isaacs, president and CEO of Aduro Biotech, said during a conference call with investors last week. “Sometimes the news isn’t what you want. We were hoping to deliver better news from the CRS program.” Hope for Second-Line Treatment Aduro Biotech was testing the drug combination in a second-line setting for the treatment of mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and gastric cancer. All three trials have stopped accepting new patients, although some treatments are continuing for now. “The outcome is disappointing for a lot of reasons, but most importantly, for the cancer patients in dire need of new therapeutic options,” Isaacs said. “We’ll be working with investigators now in a manner that is in the best interest of the patients.” Pleural mesothelioma has been especially difficult to treat, and ad...
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