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Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center vaccine study hopes to improve pancreatic cancer treatment
Date:6/13/2014

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. June 12, 2014 Medical investigators at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare are studying a new cancer immunotherapy to see if it can successfully help patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

The Phase 2B clinical trial of CRS-207 and GVAX Pancreas vaccines is open at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), where cancer patients are treated with promising new drugs.

Participants in the study, named ECLIPSE (Efficacy of Combination Listeria/GVAX Immunotherapy in the Pancreatic Cancer Setting), will be randomized so patients receive only the CRS-207 vaccine, or that vaccine combined with the GVAX Pancreas vaccine and low doses of cyclophosphamide. A third group of patients will receive a standard chemotherapy.

"This is a very innovative approach using immunotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer," explained Dr. Erkut Borazanci, M.D., M.S., medical oncologist and Drug Development Scholar at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare and the study's lead investigator.

The CRS-207 vaccine is a weakened form of the bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, that has been genetically modified to be safe for human use, while retaining its ability to stimulate the immune system. Specifically, CRS-207 has been engineered to stimulate an immune response against the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin, which is present at high levels on pancreatic cancer cells.

The GVAX vaccine is composed of genetically modified, inactivated pancreatic cancer cells that have been shown to stimulate the immune system's anticancer activity. The vaccine is given with a low-dose of a common cancer drug called cyclophosphamide to boost the effectiveness of the vaccine.

In a recently completed Phase 2A trial in 93 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, survival was
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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