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Folate Receptor Therapy Vintafolide Shows Promise in Ovarian Cancer

Treatment improves progression-free survival (October 14)

The Journal of Clinical Oncology has reported positive results from a phase II trial of vintafolide (Merck), an investigational folate small-molecule drug conjugate (SMDC).

The PRECEDENT study showed that the administration of vintafolide plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in women with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer resulted in a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 5.0 months compared with 2.7 months for those treated with PLD alone (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63; P = 0.031).

Patients with folate receptor-positive tumors demonstrated greater benefit, as measured by PFS, from treatment with vintafolide plus PLD versus PLD alone. The median PFS in these patients was 5.5 months compared with 1.5 months for those treated with PLD alone (HR, 0.38; P = 0.013).

Vintafolide is an investigational, injectable folate SMDC consisting of folate (vitamin B9) linked to a vinca alkaloid chemotherapy agent, desacetylvinblastine hydrazide (DAVLBH). Vintafolide is designed to direct DAVLBH to rapidly growing cancer cells that actively take up folate via the folate receptor. The folate receptor is expressed in a wide variety of cancers, including ovarian cancer.

Source: Merck; October 14, 2013.

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