terça-feira, 19 de maio de 2009

ASCO 2009: Immunotherapy Prolongs Survival in High-risk Pediatric Neuroblastoma

An experimental immunotherapy product has been shown to improve overall survival and to reduce the risk for relapse in children with high-risk neuroblastoma. The results from a phase 3 clinical trial are due to be presented at the upcoming 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO). The new product is a chimeric antibody directed against a glycolipid known as GD2, which sits on the surface of neuroblastoma cells and protects them from attack by the immune system. When the antibody binds to GD2, it provokes an attack by different types of immune cells against the cancer. This is the first time that an antibody directed against a glycolipid has shown clinical efficacy and an improvement in survival, Dr. Yu noted. Most antibody therapies are directed against proteins, she pointed out.
The trial was conducted by the Children's Oncology Group in 226 newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma patients who had achieved a complete or partial response to induction therapy and had received myeloablative consolidation with stem-cell rescue. All received standard treatment with 13-cis-retinoic acid for 6 cycles, and half the patients also received 5 concomitant cycles of the antibody. The antibody was administered along with 1 of 2 cytokines — granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-2 — given in alternating cycles, as preclinical studies had shown an enhanced efficacy. After 2 years, overall survival was 86% in the immunotherapy group and 75% in the standard-treatment group, and event-free survival was 66% and 46%, respectively. The study was terminated early because of the benefit seen in interim analyses.
Read more on Medscape.

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