Our DCVax-Direct product offers a potential new treatment option for the wide range of clinical situations in which patients’ tumors are considered “inoperable” because the patient has multiple tumors, or their tumor cannot be completely removed, or the surgery would cause undue damage to the patient and impair their quality of life.
A large number of patients with a variety of cancer types (including lung, colon, pancreatic, liver, ovarian, head and neck, and others) are faced with this situation, because their tumors are already locally advanced or have begun to metastasize by the time symptoms develop and the patients seek treatment. For these patients, the outlook today is bleak and survival remains quite limited.
DCVax-Direct is administered by direct injection into a patient’s tumors. It can be injected into any number of tumors, enabling patients with locally advanced disease or with metastases to be treated. DCVax-Direct can also be injected into tumors in virtually any location in the body: not only tissues at or near the surface of the body but also, with ultra-sound guidance, into interior tissues.
We are currently conducting a 60-patient Phase I/II trial of DCVax-Direct for all types of inoperable solid tumors. The trial is under way at MD Anderson in Houston, TX and MD Anderson in Orlando, FL, with additional sites in varying stages of preparation. The Phase I stage of the trial involves dose escalation, testing 3 different dose levels of DCVax-Direct, and confirmation of the optimal dose. The Phase II stage of the trial will focus on efficacy. The primary measure of efficacy will be regression (i.e., shrinkage or elimination) of the patient’s existing inoperable tumors. Such regression is a rapid endpoint: if it is going to occur, is anticipated to occur within a couple months of treatment.
To learn the eligibility criteria for the DCVax-Direct trial, please visit ClinicalTrials.gov.