Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at a drug called OncoVEX GM-CSF for melanoma
This trial was to find out more about a new biological therapy called OncoVEX GM-CSF to treat advanced melanoma.
The treatment used a virus which had been changed to make a natural substance called
The aim of the trial was to find out how well OncoVEX GM-CSF worked as a treatment for melanoma.
Summary of results
The researchers found that melanoma responded to OncoVEX GM-CSF in about a quarter (26%) of the people who took part in this trial.
Everyone in the trial had OncoVEX GM-CSF injections dire ctly into their melanoma every 2 weeks, up to 24 times. The average number of injections people had was 6.
After having the injections, the trial team found that
- In 8 people, the cancer disappeared completely – researchers call this a
- In 5 people, the cancer got smaller – this is called a
- In 10 people, the cancer didn’t get bigger or smaller – this is called
In the people who did have a response to treatment, the researchers wanted to know how long it was before the melanoma started growing again. They monitored the progress of the people taking part for an average of 18 months and found that of the 13 people who had a response, this lasted for more than 6 months in 12 of them.
Side effects were generally quite mild, but included flu like symptoms, tiredness, fever and headache.
As some of the people in this trial had a response to treatment without any severe side effects, the researchers want to look at this treatment in trials involving larger numbers of people. They are looking at it in a phase 3 trial of OncoVEX GM-CSF for melanoma that is stage 3B, 3C, or stage 4.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Dr Kevin Harrington