More News on the Follicular Lymphoma Vaccine

According to a press release at Medical News Today, Biovest International's BiovaxID, the company's "personalized therapeutic anti-cancer vaccine" is now available "on a named-patient (compassionate-use) basis in Europe."

BiovaxID will first go via idis Limited to European healthcare professionals to treat follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Other B-cell blood cancers—chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), mantle cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma
—are expected to follow.

What is BiovaxID?

In their own terms (all italics are mine, not theirs):

"BiovaxID is a personalized, patient-specific therapeutic vaccine designed to stimulate the patient's own immune system to recognize and destroy cancerous B-cells that may remain in the body or may arise after the patient has been treated with chemotherapy.

Unlike many other approaches to treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, BiovaxID is designed to kill only cancerous B-cells, with the initial indication of follicular Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Additionally, it is anticipated that BiovaxID could be used to treat other types of B-cell cancers, such as mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma."

How is BiovaxID Made?

BiovaxID is made from a tissue biopsy obtained from the patient's own tumor, making it the first vaccine to target lymphoma that has ever shown such disease-free survival benefits.

Because it is derived from the patient, it's considered safe and very well-tolerated.

BiovaxID Phase III Results

At the most recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting Plenary Session, Biovest International presented their Phase III study results for BiovaxID.

After an eight year pivotal, randomized, multi-center, double-blind, controlled clinical study, they found that BiovaxID "significantly prolonged disease-free survival in follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

Those patients who got the BiovaxID "experienced a median disease-free survival of 44.2 months compared to 30.6 months for those who received a control vaccine - an increase of 47 percent. In the study, with a median follow-up of 4.7 years, patients receiving BiovaxID experienced a 38% lower risk of disease recurrence compared to patients receiving the control vaccine."

How is it Administered?

The personalized BiovaxID vaccine is generally administered in this way:

The patient undergoes chemotherapy. For the sake of explanation, let's say that chemo regimen ends in December. The patient then waits six months.

In July, the patient is subcutaneously injected with the first of 5 personalized BiovaxID vaccinations.
In August, they get their second vaccination.
In September, their third.
In October, their fourth.
In November, they aren't given a vaccination.
In December, they are given their fifth and final subcutaneously injected vaccination.

At each vaccination, the patient is also given four daily injections of an immune stimulating agent, GM-CSF.

They may also be given a "periodic vaccine booster maintenance regimen" … this much is up to the doctor.

How Can I Learn More?

--To read the entire press release, go HERE.
--To learn more about the company that is working to determine which patients are getting the vaccine in Europe, check out idis Limited.
--To learn more about Biovest, the pharmaceutical company behind the BiovaxID vaccine, go HERE.
--To learn more about the American Society of Clinical Oncology, click HERE.
--To learn more about GM-CSF, the immune stimulating agent, click HERE

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