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 vaccine called GV1001 for pancreatic cancer that has spread (TeloVac)
The TeloVac trial was to see whether giving the GV1001 vaccine as well as chemotherapy would improve treatment for pancreatic cancer. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Doctors usually treat advanced pancreatic cancer with gemcitabine and capecitabine chemotherapy (GemCap). But there is evidence suggesting that using a type of treatment called
Immune system cells search for and kill abnormal cells. But they don’t always recognise cancer cells as being abnormal. The GV1001 vaccine works by teaching immune cells to recognise certain proteins (antigens) made by pancreatic cancer cells. The immune cells can then find the pancreatic cancer cells and kill them.
Doctors wanted to find out how well the GV1001 vaccine worked with GemCap. The aims of this trial were to see
- If adding GV1001 to GemCap helped pancreatic cancer treatment to be more successful
- How well GV1001 helped the body’s immune system to attack pancreatic cancer cells
Summary of results
The trial team found that adding GV1001 to GemCap didn’t improve treatment for pancreatic cancer.
- GemCap chemotherapy
- 2 cycles of GemCap chemotherapy, followed by GV1001
- GemCap and GV1001 started at the same time
After an average follow up of just over 6 months the team looked at the people whose cancer had responded. They found that the response rates were
- 17 out of every 100 people (17%) for those who had GemCap
- 9 out of every 100 people (9%) for those who had GemCap then GV1001
- 15 out of every 100 people (15%) for those who had GemCap and GV1001 at the same time
One year later, there was not much difference between the groups in the number of people who were still alive.
The trial team concluded that adding GV1001 to GemCap was no better than GemCap alone to treat pancreatic cancer.
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
Professor Gary Middleton
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)