Bloomberg News

Transgene Experimental Drug Kept Lung Cancer at Bay in Study

October 21, 2011

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Transgene SA’s experimental drug TG4010 combined with chemotherapy helped more lung-cancer patients live without the disease progressing than standard treatment alone, researchers found.

Six months after receiving the treatment, tumors had been kept at bay in 43 percent of patients who received TG4010 plus chemotherapy, compared with 35 percent of those on chemotherapy alone, according to a study published today in The Lancet Oncology.

Researchers led by Elisabeth Quoix the University of Strasbourg in France treated 148 patients with advanced non- small-cell lung cancer, the most-common form of the cancer, in the mid-stage clinical trial, according to the study.

In advanced lung cancer, tumor cells alter and overproduce a protein known as MUC1, according to a statement from the U.K. medical journal. TG4010 is a so-called therapeutic vaccine designed to trigger the body’s immune system and mount a response against MUC1.

Patients with a normal number of a certain type of white blood cells called lymphocytes benefited even more, the researchers found. The level of those lymphocytes in the blood may be used as a so-called biomarker to help identify which patients will benefit, they said.

Transgene, based in Illkirch, France, near Strasbourg, funded the study. An additional mid-stage trial has begun to confirm the findings, according to the researchers.

--Editors: Kristen Hallam, Bruce Rule

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Phil Serafino in Paris at pserafino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net


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