Brain cancer

Stemline Therapeutics has announced that investigators from the University of Pittsburgh, US, will present clinical trial results of a synthetic peptide vaccine for brain cancer, now being developed as SL-701, at the 4th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology (WFNO).

The event is being held in conjunction with the 18th Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) meeting in San Francisco, California, on November 21-24.

Investigators will report on the safety and immunological responses achieved with the Pitt vaccine in an additional indication, adults with newly diagnosed or recurrent low-grade glioma (LGG) (n=23).

The Pitt vaccine was determined to be well-tolerated, induced specific and sustained immune responses against its brain tumour targets and prolonged progression free survival (PFS) in patients with a high-magnitude of immunologic responsiveness.

The new subcutaneously-administered cancer vaccine comprises of multiple synthetic peptides corresponding to targets on tumour bulk and cancer stem cells (CSCs).

The company has licensed patent rights relating to the new vaccine from the University of Pittsburgh.

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SL-701 has previously showed single-agent clinical efficacy, including complete responses (CRs), in Phase I/II studies in both adults and children with high-grade glioma (HGG), including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

"Our immediate plans now are to advance SL-701 into late-stage trials in HGG, including a potentially accelerated approval pathway in adults with second-line GBM."

Based on these results, the company is undertaking registration-directed programs in both adults and children with HGG.

Stemline chief medical officer and head of research and development Eric Rowinsky said: "Our immediate plans now are to advance SL-701 into late-stage trials in HGG, including a potentially accelerated approval pathway in adults with second-line GBM, and in children with brainstem and non-brainstem glioma, for which there are no approved therapies.

"We will also continue to monitor the ongoing Pittsburgh trial in LGG, another area of unmet medical need, and consider advancement in this indication as well."

Stemline develops novel oncology therapeutics that target both cancer stem cells (CSCs) as well as the tumour bulk.

The company’s clinical candidates, SL-401 and SL-701, have showed clinical activity, including durable complete responses (CRs), in Phase I/II studies of patients with advanced haematologic and brain cancer, respectively.

Image: A high-magnification micrograph of an oligodendroglioma. Photo: courtesy of Nephron.