Antigenics' cancer vax gets mixed Phase III results

Antigenics' cancer vaccine Oncophage failed to meet its primary endpoint of overall survival in a late-stage clinical trial for metastatic melanoma, but patients receiving a minimum of 10 injections did see an improved median survival of 3.7 months. The results of the Phase III study were previously announced at the American Society of Clinical Onocology in June 2006 and showed that patients with less advanced disease who received at least 10 doses of Oncophage had improved median survival of approximately 18.4 months versus patients who received physician's choice of treatment.

"Patients with stage IV melanoma are particularly difficult to treat. These patients generally have a very poor prognosis and there is currently no consensus regarding standard of care," said Alessandro Testori, MD, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milan, Italy. "The results demonstrate that Oncophage may provide certain melanoma patients additional survival time. Given that currently approved therapies for metastatic melanoma are extremely limited, further investigation is warranted evaluating a predetermined number of Oncophage doses in patients with less advanced metastatic disease."

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