Ilixadencel is an off-the-shelf immune primer for the treatment of solid tumours. The clinical trial assessed the effectiveness of combining ilixadencel with sunitinib in 88 untreated patients with intermediate- or poor-prognosis advanced kidney cancer. Half the patients were given two injections of ilixadencel directly into the tumour before nephrectomy, followed by sunitinib treatment after nephrectomy. The remaining patients were treated with sunitinib only.
There was a complete tumour response in 11% of the patients who received ilixadencel and only 4% of patients on sunitinib alone. The patients who had a complete response had eradication of the cancerous tumour and no further evidence of disease. Overall survival for these patients has not yet been reached.
Safety and tolerability results were similar in the 2 treatment groups.
“As a clinical oncologist specialised in treating kidney cancer patients, the prospect of an immune primer that can support the achievement of complete responses in advanced-stage patients with a positive tolerability and safety profile is extremely exciting, especially in an indication in which complete responses are rare,” study investigator Magnus Lindskog, PhD, associate professor at Uppsala University Hospital, said in a statement. “If this response rate can be confirmed in a larger pivotal trial, it would represent a major step forward for the treatment of kidney cancer patients.”