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Lung cancer vaccine trials promising: Introgen



13 September,2005: Results from an ongoing trial of cancer vaccine for advanced small cell lung cancer are encouraging, Introgen Therapeutics, Inc reported.

Results presented at the 13th International Conference on Gene Therapy of Cancer show that the vaccine INGN 225, is well tolerated and that it appears to sensitize lung tumours to additional chemotherapy, with 62 percent of patients who received second-line chemotherapy exhibiting objective responses.

INGN 225 is a personalized vaccine that utilizes the p53 tumour suppressor gene to stimulate a cancer patient's immune system to destroy cancer cells.

p53, the active component of INGN 225, is typically expressed at undetectable levels in normal cells. In cancer cells, however, levels of p53 are often significantly increased, making this important protein a cancer-specific vaccine target, said an Introgen release. 

INGN 225 is an investigational therapeutic vaccine consisting of a cancer patient's dendritic cells, a type of immune cell, treated with an adenovector carrying the human p53 gene (Ad-p53). In the study, patients with extensive stage (advanced) small cell lung cancer were treated with their own dendritic cells combined with Ad-p53. To date, 27 patients have each received at least three doses of the vaccine. 

Interim results show that the vaccine was well tolerated, with no appreciable INGN 225 related toxicity in any of the treated patients. Following INGN 225 treatment, 62 percent of the evaluable patients in the study had objective responses to subsequent chemotherapy by standard RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) criteria.

The results of post- vaccination second-line chemotherapy are striking -- double what we would predict in this patient population. These data strongly suggest that INGN 225 sensitizes lung cancer cells to the effects of chemotherapy and may in fact significantly enhance the efficacy of subsequent chemotherapy, the release noted.
A phase 1/2 trial of INGN 225 in patients with breast cancer is ongoing.

Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing molecular therapeutics, immunotherapies, vaccines and nano-particle tumor suppressor therapies to treat a wide range of cancers using non-integrating tumor suppressors, cytokines and genes. 



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