Igor Puzanov, MD, Director of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Program and Chief of Melanoma at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, led research on the immunotherapy T-VEC, or talimogene laherparepvec, to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.
Dr. Puzanov is senior author on the study, which is the first to report the ad hoc analysis of progression-free survival (PFS) for T-VEC compared to cytokine-based immunotherapy with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, or GM-CSF, in the pivotal OPTiM randomised phase III trial (NCT identifier no. 00769704).
T-VEC is an injectable immunotherapy designed to kill melanoma cells in the skin and lymph nodes.
An oncolytic virus, it targets cancer cells without affecting normal, nonmalignant cells.
Results show that single-agent T-VEC demonstrated an improvement in progression-free survival compared to GM-CSF in the overall intent-to-treat population, in whom 12-month survival was estimated to be 14.4% for T-VEC and 4.6% for GM-CSF.
The finding was driven primarily by patients with advanced, stage–4 melanoma, in whom 12-month progression-free survival was expected to be 19.9% for T-VEC and only 3.2% for GM-CSF.
“Our findings are consistent with previous data showing a more pronounced overall survival benefit with T-VEC for patients with local/regional melanoma, or disease that had not spread to other organs,” says Dr. Puzanov. “Significantly, we observed no difference in median progression-free survival between patients with progression and those whose disease had not progressed.”
A subgroup analysis shows that patients who did not progress within six months of therapy with T-VEC had 50% reduced chance of future progression compared to patients treated with GM-CSF.