"We saw a significant increase of CD14+CD169+ monocytes in all but one of the MGN1703 treated patients but none of the placebo patients, which indicates the drug is having a biological effect," he said.
"These data, presented at the 15th ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer for the first time, are showing a highly interesting trend which should be followed-up and confirmed in a larger study," Prof Schmoll said.
Since treatment with immunotherapeutic drugs such as MGN1703 needs time to take effect, patients who have a lower tumour burden and a response to prior chemotherapy might be more likely to have a benefit of the treatment with MGN1703, Prof Schmoll said.
"The evidence we are presenting at the 15th ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer is the first to show an immune cell population that might also help identify patients with greater benefit from MGN1703. There is mounting evidence that patients who achieve a response with immunotherapy seem to have a very prolonged disease control. A large confirmatory trial is needed to confirm these interesting findings."
Commenting on the findings, ESMO spokesperson Michel Ducreux, Head of the Gastrointestinal Unit at the Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France, said the new results are supporting the concept for this approach.
"This is an interesting and somehow promising drug which represents a new concept of maintenance therapy with immunomodulation," he said. "The results in terms of progression-free survival and response were consistent, however based on a very small number of patients, and needs follow up and confirmation in a definitive confirmatory trial. "
|Contact: ESMO Press Office|
European Society for Medical Oncology