Cancer Drug Targets Specific Cells

Susan Farley
Published Online: Tuesday, August 1, 2006

GlaxoSmithKline's phase 2 clinical trial of the investigational drug MAGE-A3 Antigen Specific Cancer Immunotherapeutic (ASCI) for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) showed a reduction in cancer recurrence following surgery, when compared with placebo. In the trial, all patients had tumors that expressed a tumor-specific antigen—MAGE-A3—seen in 35% to 50% of early NSCLC. The multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 182 patients receiving either MAGE-A3 ASCI or placebo. Relapse occurred in 30.3% of patients in the MAGE-A3 group, compared with 41.7% of patients in the placebo group. This new cancer immunotherapy resulted in a 33% reduction of risk. Phase 3 clinical trials are set for early 2007. Trial results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.

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