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A phase 2 clinical trial with a new treatment called ilixadencel in combination with sunitinib has shown to improve overall survival in newly diagnosed patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
People given the combination treatment lived 10 months longer than those on sunitinib alone, suggesting that ilixadencel aids survival in these patients.
Ilixadencel is a new type of treatment called an anti-cancer vaccine. The vaccine uses a type of immune cell, called a dendritic cell, to recruit the body’s own T-cells to attack and destroy cancer cells.
The dendritic cells are taken from healthy donors and undergo a procedure to become activated and produce certain substances that trigger strong immune responses. Once this procedure is complete, the cells are injected directly into the tumour, where they work to trigger an inflammatory response and promote the recruitment of cancer-killing T-cells.
There were 88 people in the study, all newly diagnosed with metastatic RCC. The patients were randomly divided into two treatment groups. One group had two injections of ilixadencel, followed by surgery to remove the cancerous kidney, and then treatment with sunitinib. Patients in the control group went directly to the surgery, followed by sunitinib treatment.
The most recent findings from the study show that patients who had ilixadencel followed by surgery and sunitinib lived for an average of 35.6 months, while those in the control group lived for an average of 25.3 months, a difference of around 10 months. Five patients in the ilixadencel plus sunitinib group had a complete response to treatment and their cancer disappeared. These patients are still being followed-up in the study after 3 years.