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ASCO conference: Iovance drugs curb cervical cancer, melanoma in ongoing trial

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ASCO conference: Iovance drugs curb cervical cancer, melanoma in ongoing trial

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The 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology takes place from May 31 to June 4.
Source: ASCO

Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc., a San Carlos, Calif.-based biotech, said its experimental drug LN-145 eliminated all signs of cancer in 11% of patients with advanced cervical cancer in a pivotal clinical trial.

In a presentation at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on May 31, the company said cervical cancer patients receiving LN-145 did not show disease worsening after 7.4 months in the ongoing study.

Iovance also announced at the ASCO meeting that advanced melanoma patients taking another of the company's drugs, lifileucel, did not show signs of cancer returning after 8.8 months.

In cancer studies, the measure of how long a treatment continues to abate the disease is called a duration of response. The longer the duration of response, the longer the drug has been found to be effective.

Both LN-145 and lifileucel are based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, technology, which amplifies the body's immune response to attack solid tumors or blood cancer, Iovance said in a release.

The LN-145 study enrolled 27 patients and the lifileucel trial had 66 patients.

"As we continue to observe the effects of Iovance TIL therapy, we have not yet reached a median [duration of response] for our TIL product in either our melanoma or cervical trial," Iovance CEO Maria Fardis said. "We are also extremely encouraged to see [complete responses] in our cervical cancer study as the study continues over time, demonstrating the potential for deep responses after one treatment."

LN-145 has been granted breakthrough therapy status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based on earlier results from the same study.

The 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting is expected to bring together more than 32,000 professionals from around the world, with more than 2,400 study abstracts to be presented on site and an additional 3,200 abstracts to be published online.