Cervical cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in different parts of the cervix.
The vast majority of cervical cancers are linked to an infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a very common virus that gets transmitted through sexual contact.
Unfortunately, when cervical cancer advances (e.g., metastasis), its management becomes very challenging.
In this article, we will cover the preliminary results of a phase II clinical trial regarding VB10.16 with Tecentriq in the management of advanced cervical cancer. First, let us start by defining the two drugs.
What is VB10.16?
VB10.16 is a DNA vaccine that has three parts.
Each part encodes for a specific protein, including:
- E6/E7 fusion protein of human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the leading cause of cervical cancer
- Dimerization entity
- A protein that binds to antigen-presenting cells (APCs)
The purpose of this vaccine is to stimulate innate antineoplastic immunological responses. The drug gets administered via an intramuscular injection.
The first protein stimulates the immune system to attack cancerous cells that contain HPV. However, antigen-presenting cells might interfere early on in the process, preventing this action from occurring. For this reason, scientists added the third protein that blocks APCs temporarily until E6/E7 get internalized within the cells.
What is Tecentriq ?
Tecentriq, also called Atezolizumab, is an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody that aids in the following conditions:
- Locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma
- Metastatic non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer (Nsq NSCLC)
- PD_L1 positive unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer
- Extensive-stage small cell lung cancer.
- BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma
Today, however, we will discuss its role in treating advanced cervical cancer.
The interim results of a phase II clinical trial
This clinical trial combined VB10.16 with Tecentriq to treat patients with advanced cases of cervical cancer. One of the inclusion criteria was the positivity of HPV16 in all patients.
The Response Rate (The percentage of patients in whom the cancer has decreased by at least 30% in volume or disappeared after treatment) for this treatment was around 21%, with two complete remissions and 6 partial responses. As for the control rate (The percentage of patients whose disease had stopped growing or decreased in size of tumor by at least 30%) was around 64%.
The Response Rate was 26%, and the Disease Control Rate was 77% in PD-L1-positive patients.
Those with a negative PD-L1 demonstrated a Response Rate of 17% and a Disease Control Rate of 58%.
These preliminary results show that a combination of VB10.16 with Tecentriq can give patients with advanced cervical cancer hope and extend survival.
The complete data of this trial will be available in 2023.
The positive results of this clinical trial give hope to patients with advanced cervical cancer – a condition that is often thought to be rapidly fatal.
We hope that more trials of this kind get conducted to reach the best possible outcome for patients with advanced cases of cancer.
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