After a full morning, this conference has a nice feature during the lunch break of having the faculty all sit at separate tables so that attendees can ask questions of them. It’s nice to break through the silos that typically have the faculty sit and talk together, which may create a barrier to having these important conversations between the meeting attendees and the few on the faculty.
One of the highest profile clinical studies over the last few years has been the START trial of Stimuvax, also known as L-BLP-25 or tecemotide, an immunotherapy that looked promising in a randomized phase II trial that led to a subsequent phase III trial that administered Stimuvax or placebo after chemo and radiation for locally advanced (stage III) NSCLC, as described more in this post about STIMUVAX and the START trial from early 2007.
High Profile Failure for Stimuvax: What Does it Mean for the Future of Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer?
Here's a video I just did on the disappointing results of the START trial with Stimuvax, an immunotherapy that was very promising but didn't actually pan out, but why might that have happened, and what does it mean for the future, with other clinical trials with prominent immune-based treatments that have also looked promising in lung cancer?
What do you think? Are you optimistic about Lucanix and the MAGE-A3 trial?
Here's the question and answer session that followed the presentations by Drs.
Immune-based approaches in lung cancer tend to generate significant buzz among patients and the general public, as well as in the media, but not as much optimism within the oncology world. Much of that is for good reason: while the concept of a minimally toxic, long-lasting anti-cancer approach like a vaccine is very appealing to all of us, oncologists have seen many hyped immune-based therapies deliver far less than their promise. This is for several reasons.