(Mirror Daily, United States) – Recent research has shown that antibody-based therapy might be efficient in helping patients with advanced stomach cancer live longer.
The phase 2 clinical trial involved 161 patients and focused on an antibody known as IMAB362. The immunotherapy was used in combination with a standard chemotherapy and extended the survival rate to 13 months compared to 8.4 months in the case of patients receiving only chemotherapy.
According to Dr. David Bernstein, chief of hepatology at Northwell Health in Manhasset, N.Y., metastatic gastric cancer is devastating, and the current effectiveness of the chemotherapeutic agents needs to be improved.
Even if the further research is needed, this study is very encouraging proving that the antibody-based therapy is effective in treating the stomach cancer. The target of the IMAB362 antibody used in this new treatment is a protein from cancer cells called claudin 18.2.
The team of German researchers learned that the patients participating in the study had the highest levels of this protein in tumors before benefiting from the immunotherapy. Furthermore, thanks to this treatment, their survival rate extended to 17 months.
The team’s research was financially supported by drug maker Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG. and was scheduled to be shown Sunday at the annual meeting of ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology).
According to Dr. Salah-Eddin Al-Batran, lead researcher, and director of the Institute of Clinical Cancer Research at Nordwest Hospital in Frankfurt, claudin 18.2 is opulent in gastric tumors. Furthermore, half of all patients suffering from advanced gastric cancer might be provided soon with this antibody-based therapy.
Plus, many cancer patients are scheduled to participate in a phase 3 study starting from 2017. IMAB362 is the first antibody used to tackle claudin 18.2, found in many other cancer types as well, such as ovarian tumors, esophageal, lung and pancreatic cancer.
According to Dr. James Grendell, chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., the role of the phase 3 studies will be to confirm the new findings. However, he was impressed by the new approach.
Dr. Grendell underlined that the antibody-based therapy relies on agents to deal with the barriers that prevent cancer types to be recognized and destroyed by the immune system of our body. IMAB362 is one of these agents that will expose cancer in front of the body’s self-defense mechanism.