For trial inclusion, patients must have measurable disease with at least one lesion that is resectable for TIL generation; that is, at least 1.5 cm in diameter and able to be removed with minimal morbidity. Exclusion criteria include prior cell transfer therapy that included a nonmyeloablative or myeloablative chemotherapy regimen, more than three brain metastases, and current use of a systemic steroid regimen.
This trial is an exciting early step, according to Steven A. Fischkoff, MD, chief medical officer of Lion Biotechnologies, Inc, a New York City–based company that is developing the TIL therapy under an orphan drug designation. He said that focusing on TILs is a forward-looking approach to immunotherapy. Weber, who is a member of Lion’s scientific advisory board, said the technology holds promise for a variety of tumor types. Besides melanoma, other cancer types that might prove amenable to TIL therapy include renal cell carcinoma, ovarian cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, lung cancer, and cervical cancer, he said.
“You can definitely grow TILs from a variety of tumors,” Weber said. “In the old days, people tried to do it and couldn’t figure out what to do. It turns out to be much easier to do than we thought.”
TIL therapy is tough. I've lost some dear to me after they tried it. On the other hand...when it works....it is amazing. It makes sense. It holds promise. Not sure how benign and dependable it has really become....that's what the amazing ratties who sign up for this trial will show us. Fingers crossed for everyone. -c