In a press release from late May 2021, biotechnology company CancerVAX, Inc. (“CancerVAX”), which works to develop targeted immunotherapy treatments, shared that it had entered into a sponsored research agreement with the University of California – Los Angeles (“UCLA”). Within this research agreement, CancerVAX will be researching, conceptualizing, and developing immunotherapy for patients with Ewing sarcoma.
As the National Cancer Institute (NCI) explains, immunotherapy is:
a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. [Additionally], immunotherapy is a type of biological therapy, [which] uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer.
CancerVAX hopes to use the company’s technology to develop an innovative immunotherapy that will help destroy cancerous cells. Seeing this succeed would be a huge advancement within this industry, especially as there are no current FDA-approved therapies designed to prevent Ewing sarcoma from recurring.
Overall, the research program will last for one year and will finish on May 12, 2022. Throughout the program, researchers’ focus will center around custom antibody treatments and CAR T-cell therapies. CancerVAX will receive the exclusive right to license the patent application.
Altogether, CancerVAX hopes to improve patient outcomes and quality of life (QOL) and to fill unmet needs for patients with Ewing sarcoma. In the future, CancerVAX hopes to expand its research to develop additional immunotherapies for patients with other cancers.
Altogether, Ewing sarcoma is part of the Ewing family of tumors, cancers which form in the bones and soft tissue surrounding the bones. In this case, Ewing sarcoma is a rare and highly malignant tumor that often forms in the bones of the legs, ribs, arms, pelvis, or spine. Around 50% of all Ewing sarcoma diagnoses occur in younger patients between ages 10-20. Males are often slightly more affected than females. Additionally, this form of cancer is rarely found in those of African American or Asian American backgrounds. An estimated 200 new diagnoses are made each year within the U.S.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Bone pain
- Note: This pain may worsen at night or following exercise.
- Fever (without a known cause)
- Broken bones (without a known cause)
- Unintended weight loss
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness near the affected area
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of bladder control