A new myeloma vaccine that can be used after autologous stem cell transplant is making positive progress in clinical trials. The goal of the vaccine is to extend remission times for myeloma patients, especially those with high-risk myeloma.
The vaccine was developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by Guenther Koehne, MD, PhD. The vaccine has now been licensed to SELLAS Life Sciences Group so that it can be further developed as a commercially available treatment for patients.
The study began in June 2014 and enrolled 19 patients, 15 of which had high-risk cytogenetics and other poor characteristics that typically result in shorter overall survival. After 18 months, 86% of the patients were still alive, which is remarkable considering that these patients typically do not live past a 12-15 month period. Guenther Koehne, MD, PhD, Attending Physician, Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service at MSKCC and Principal Investigator on this phase II trial said:
"Treatments for high-risk multiple myeloma have remained a clinical challenge. Now, for the first time, galinpepimut-S has provided strong indication of a meaningful clinical benefit, following autotransplantation in patients with high-risk multiple myeloma, particularly those with an adverse cytogenetic profile. We are encouraged by these positive results and planning further studies to expand upon and confirm our observations,"
Nicholas Sarlis, MD, PhD, SELLAS' Chief Medical Officer, said:
"We are now witnessing promising responses in these high-risk patients, who typically relapse within 12-15 months of autotransplant. We are committed to more clinical research for this high unmet medical need population with our agent, aiming to understand the immunobiological mechanisms behind its positive effects."
To read the full press release, click here. To hear Dr. Koehne explain how the vaccine works in detail, click here.
To find all clinical trials using the WT1 vaccine, click here:
WT1 Vaccine Myeloma Clinical Trials
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of HealthTree Foundation (formerly Myeloma Crowd).