As we near the June 2016 ASCO event in Chicago, Illinois, immunotherapy has again t taken center stage… especially as the FDA approves a treatment to help battle an advanced form of bladder cancer, know as urotherial carcinoma.
Developed by Genentech, the treatment works by strengthening the body’s own immune, training it to attack bladder cancer, often with better results than the standard treatment of care, cytotoxic chemotherapy. Once administered, the therapy helps prevent the PD-L1 protein from binding to the PD-1 protein on T-cells, which inhibits immune response. In 14.8% of patients, tumors were reduced significantly with this treatment. In 5.5% of cases, the cancer was destroyed in full.
At ASCO, Genentech is also expected to present new survival and diagnostic results in recurrent metastatic bladder and lung cancers, as well.
We also have an eye on Advaxis Inc. (ADXS), which will present Stage 1 of its Phase II study on ADXS11-001 immunotherapy in squamous or non-squamous persistent/recurrent metastatic cervical cancer, as we noted here. For some perspective, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally. In the U.S. alone, about 13,000 new cases are diagnosed, with 4,100 deaths per year.
Any positive data presented at ASCO could be a significant driver for the stock.
Artificially strengthening the immune system against cancer is one of the most exciting – profitable -- breakthroughs of our time. Keep an eye on it.