Update: This podcast was recorded in September, one month before the FDA approved nivolumab and ipilimumab for pleural mesothelioma. This news altered the plans for a lot of mesothelioma clinical trials, including the study discussed in this podcast. Some of the topics and information discussed in the episode, including the start date, will have changed. Please check back for updated information regarding any trials involving ONCOS-102 and Keytruda.

 

2020 has been a breakthrough year for expanding treatment options for mesothelioma. Immunotherapy is now approved as a first-line treatment.

Another emerging therapy, the use of viruses, offers another source of promise. One upcoming clinical trial will attempt to combine both ideas into one treatment regimen.

Targovax, the manufacturer of an oncolytic adenovirus called ONCOS-102, will pair its therapy with Keytruda in a study explicitly for mesothelioma. The trial will involve all cell types and include locations in the United States.

Dr. Magnus Jaderberg, the chief medical officer for Targovax, joined the Mesothelioma Guide podcast to discuss ONCOS-102 and future developments.

“We are very excited to have Memorial Sloan-Kettering … in the U.S.,” Dr. Jaderberg said. “We’ll have the Mayo Clinic, along with other high profile and other cancer centers in the U.S.”


The science behind the combination makes sense. ONCOS-102 delivers immune-stimulating proteins into the body and breaks up tumor cells, which sends signals to the immune system. Keytruda, a checkpoint inhibitor, helps the immune system’s T-cells find and attack mesothelioma cells.

“(This trial) is the first time anyone has combined an oncolytic virus with a checkpoint inhibitor for this specific disease,” Dr. Jaderberg said.

Earlier in 2020, Keytruda received limited approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for mesothelioma. A few weeks ago, the FDA approved an immunotherapy combination (Opdivo and Yervoy) for first-line pleural mesothelioma treatment.

Mesothelioma clinical trials using ONCOS-102 have been successful, especially when compared with chemotherapy. Patients often experience improved survival and better disease control thanks to the experimental therapy. Targovax concluded the most recent trial in June, and ONCOS-102 is credited for a:

  • Two-month improvement in progression-free survival
  • 7% increase in disease-control rate
  • 14% rise in one-year survival rate

“The goal was to show that we’re able to activate the patients’ immune system,” Dr. Jaderberg said. “Mesothelioma is a type of cancer where it’s not that easy to get the immune system to activate. We could actually show with the data in June that we were very much able to activate the immune system to target and find the tumors.”

The trial should begin enrolling and treating patients early in 2021. If you’d like information about ONCOS-102, Keytruda, this study or other enrolling trials, we can help. Please email our patient advocate and registered nurse, Jenna Campagna, at jenna@mesotheliomaguide.com.

    Sources & Author

Devin Goldan image

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.

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    Sources & Author

Devin Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.