(HealthDay News) — A two-step immunotherapy approach and a novel antibody-drug conjugate, DMUC5754A, show promise for advanced ovarian cancer, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held April 4 to 10 in Washington, D.C.

Lana Kandalaft, Pharm.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the feasibility, safety, and biological and clinical efficacy of a two-step immunotherapy approach for patients with advanced ovarian cancer receiving bevacizumb. Thirty-one patients underwent dendritic cell vaccination, and 11 who responded underwent adoptive T-cell therapy. The researchers found that 19 patients showed clinical benefit and developed an antitumor immune response following vaccination; of these, at the end of the study, eight had no measurable disease, and one remained disease-free for 42 months following vaccination. Of the patients who underwent adoptive T-cell therapy, seven had stable disease and one exhibited a complete response.

Joyce F. Liu, M.D., M.P.H., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues assessed the safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic activity of DMUC5754A in 44 patients with advanced, recurrent, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The researchers identified one complete response and four partial responses, all of which occurred at a dose of 2.4-mg/kg and in patients with high expression of MUC16. There were two dose-limiting toxicities, both of which occurred at the maximum dose (3.2 mg/kg). The most commonly reported adverse event was fatigue (57 percent); other adverse events included nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, peripheral neuropathy, and diarrhea.

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“If the activity of this drug is confirmed in additional trials, this will represent a novel type of therapy for ovarian cancer,” Liu said in a statement.

DMUC5754A is developed by Genentech.

Abstract — Kandalaft
Abstract — Liu
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