Dr. Cibula on Adding Dendritic Cell-Based Immunotherapy to Chemotherapy in Ovarian Cancer

David Cibula, MD
Published: Thursday, Mar 28, 2019



David Cibula, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at the Gynaecologic Center of Charles University, discusses a trial that examined the addition of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy to chemotherapy in patients with relapsed ovarian cancer.

There is an unmet need to find new treatment modalities in ovarian cancer, explains Cibula. Ovarian cancers have a relatively high mutational burden, which means there will not be a simple monotherapy that will work in this population. Therefore, many investigators are testing various combination therapies to treat patients. Further research may find the combination of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy DCVAC/OvCA and standard carboplatin and gemcitabine among them, adds Cibula.

In the phase II open-label trial, patients with relapsed, platinum-sensitive, epithelial ovarian cancer were randomized 1:1 to receive standard-of-care therapy with or without DCVAC/OvCA. The trial showed a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) with the vaccine. The hazard ratio was 0.38, which translates to a 62% reduction in the risk of death with the approach. At a median follow-up of 36.6 months, the median rates of OS were 35.5 months and 22.1 months in the DCVAC/OvCA arm and chemotherapy-alone arms, respectively.
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David Cibula, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at the Gynaecologic Center of Charles University, discusses a trial that examined the addition of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy to chemotherapy in patients with relapsed ovarian cancer.

There is an unmet need to find new treatment modalities in ovarian cancer, explains Cibula. Ovarian cancers have a relatively high mutational burden, which means there will not be a simple monotherapy that will work in this population. Therefore, many investigators are testing various combination therapies to treat patients. Further research may find the combination of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy DCVAC/OvCA and standard carboplatin and gemcitabine among them, adds Cibula.

In the phase II open-label trial, patients with relapsed, platinum-sensitive, epithelial ovarian cancer were randomized 1:1 to receive standard-of-care therapy with or without DCVAC/OvCA. The trial showed a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) with the vaccine. The hazard ratio was 0.38, which translates to a 62% reduction in the risk of death with the approach. At a median follow-up of 36.6 months, the median rates of OS were 35.5 months and 22.1 months in the DCVAC/OvCA arm and chemotherapy-alone arms, respectively.

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