BETHESDA, Md., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: NWBO) (NW Bio), a biotechnology company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, today provided an initial patient case study, showing signs of tumor necrosis (tumor death) and initial tumor regression, from the Company's ongoing DCVax-Direct trial for all types of inoperable solid tumors. The Company plans to announce further case study information prior to the annual ASCO conference, while it continues collecting data from the trial. Although the trial is still at an early stage, with many of the patients only part way through the treatment regimen, the Company also plans to provide overall information about the data to date by the time of the ASCO conference.
The specific case study announced today involves a sarcoma patient with a large tumor mass and multiple inoperable metastatic tumors in the lung. This patient received the first 3 DCVax-Direct injections through the course of a month, starting in February. He received a fourth injection in early April and then was scanned for results in early May. At that time, this patient's MRI scan showed extensive necrosis and partial collapse of the injected large tumor mass, and a CT scan showed some early indication of shrinkage of one of the non-injected metastasized tumors. These results suggest both local and systemic effects of the DCVax-Direct treatment, as were seen in the pre-clinical studies.
These encouraging results were further supported by tumor biopsies taken at the time of the most recent injection, which showed a high rate of tumor necrosis and appearance of T cells (immune cells) infiltrating into the injected tumor.
"We are excited to see signs of DCVax-Direct mobilizing the immune system to fight the tumors in these patients with advanced metastatic cancer, even while we are still so early in this ongoing trial and while patients are only part way through their treatments," commented Linda F. Powers, CEO of NW Bio. "Immune therapies generally work much more slowly than chemotherapy or targeted drugs, so it is especially encouraging to see any such signs so soon. Today, for patients with advanced metastatic cancer the outlook is very bleak, and mostly only palliative measures are available. We are hopeful that our non-toxic DCVax-Direct may provide a significant new therapeutic option for such patients."DCVax ® -Direct is a personalized immune therapy for all types of inoperable solid tumor cancers, using dendritic cells (the master cells of the immune system) to mobilize the full immune system to attack the patient's cancer. DCVax ® -Direct is administered by direct injection into the patient's tumors in virtually any location in the body (with image guidance for interior locations). The Company is currently conducting a 60-patient Phase I/II trial with DCVax-Direct for all types of inoperable solid tumors, including lung, colon, breast with brain metastases, pancreatic and other cancers, as well as melanoma and sarcoma. Phase I includes 36 patients and Phase II includes 24 patients. The endpoints of the trial are focused on tumor necrosis and tumor regression (shrinkage).