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Oncophage is a personalized cancer vaccine by the American company Antigenics Inc. that is evaluated in multiple clinical trials. It has been granted fast track and orphan drug designations from the US Food and Drug Administration for kidney cancer, metastatic melanoma, and glioma.

Oncophage is not yet approved in the USA but was approved in Russia in April 2008 for patients who have earlier-stage kidney cancer.[1] The European Medicines Agency is evaluating conditional approval for Oncophage.

Oncophage is one of a group of new drugs called cancer vaccines that intend to train the body's immune system to fight the cancer. While chemotherapy is often accompanied by severe side effects, cancer vaccines tend to have only minimal ones (often only inflammations of the injection site).

In April 2009, the World Vaccine Congress named Oncophage as the best therapeutic vaccine.[2]

However, after a a negative opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) on 19 November 2009, Antigenics Inc. decided to withdraw their application for approval by the European Medicines Agency shortly after on 23 November 2009. [3]

What it is[edit]

Oncophage is a vaccine made from individual patients’ tumors by extracting heat shock protein gp96 and its associated peptides.[4]

Clinical trials[edit]

Oncophage for treatment of glioma (brain cancer) patients is investigated in two phase II clinical trials. One trial is evaluating Oncophage alone in patients with first recurrence of glioma while the second trial is evaluating Oncophage in combination with Temozolomide, a common chemotherapy, in patients that are newly diagnosed with brain cancer.

A first phase I clinical trial of Oncophage in glioma extended median survival of the group of patients, which was diagnosed with multiple recurrencies of glioma, to over 10 months.


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