Cancer Vaccine-Immunotherapy Combo Shows Promise in DLBCL


Combining maveropepimut-S plus Keytruda showed promising outcomes in a small group of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, study results showed.

The combination of a novel cancer vaccine, maveropepimut-S (MVP-S), plus the immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) showed promising results in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), according to preliminary findings from the phase 2B VITALIZE trial.

Arm 1 of the trial — which analyzed maveropepimut-S plus Keytruda and cyclophosphamide — included eight patients with relapsed/refractory DLBCL whose functioning has been minimally affected, if at all, by their disease. Six of these patients have been evaluated thus far, and within the group, three experienced confirmed complete responses, meaning that there was no traces of their cancer left after treatment. Two patients had progressive disease.

Two patients had poor functionality at the start of the trial, so their responses could not be evaluated, according to IMV Inc., the manufacturer of maveropepimut-S.

The main goal of VITALIZE is to determine objective response rate (percentage of patients whose cancer shrinks or disappears as a result of treatment) in patients treated with maveropepimut-S plus Keytruda and cyclophosphamide (arm 1) or maveropepimut-S plus Keytruda without cyclophosphamide (arm 2).

Researchers also plan to analyze the rate of side effects, time to response, progression-free survival (time from treatment until disease worsens), disease control rate, complete response rate and changes in patient-reported outcomes.

To be eligible, patients had to have a diagnosis of relapsed or refractory DLBCL, be ineligible for stem cell transplant or CAR-T cell therapy and had their disease worsen after two or more lines of treatment.

“This is the most refractory population of patients we have treated so far, and to show complete, confirmed clinical responses is notable. These positive initial results, combined with the accelerating recruitment of the AVALON study in platinum resistant ovarian cancer add, we believe, to the growing industry enthusiasm about the potential for MVP-S in multiple tumor settings," said Andrew Hall, CEO of IMV, in a press release.

The AVALON study is another trial investigating maveropepimut-S — in this case, the drug is being evaluated in combination with cyclophosphamide in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

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