A Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trial of Intratumoral Injection of Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA), a Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Agonist, in Patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Focus: 

To conduct a clinical trial of GLA therapy in Merkel cell carcinoma patients

Anticipated Impact: 

A safe, effective treatment for Merkel cell carcinoma that is potentially effective against other cancers

Abstract: 

This grant will support novel use of a vaccine adjuvant developed by Immune Design Corporation as a cancer therapeutic for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). MCC often occurs in the skin, presenting the opportunity to inject adjuvant directly into the tumor. The adjuvant, which will be tested in 10 MCC patients, is expected to recruit immune cells to the tumor to assist the patient's own immune system in attacking the cancer. Immune therapies with antibodies have had some recent spectacular successes, and although this is a different approach (no tumor-specific antibodies will be injected), activating the patient's immune system shows promise and is generally safer and better tolerated than traditional chemotherapy. Only about 1,600 patients per year develop MCC, but the University of Washington is a center that attracts both in-state and out-of-state patients, and the therapy may ultimately be applicable to other cancers.

Collaborating organizations: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Immune Design Corporation

See also:

Cancer Diagnostics, Therapeutics

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Shailender Bhatia
Grantee Organization:
University of Washington
Grant Title:
A Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trial of Intratumoral Injection of Glucopyranosyl Lipid A (GLA), a Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Agonist, in Patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
Grant Cohort and Year:
2013 Proof of Concept (03)
Grant Period:
10/16/2013 - 10/15/2015 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
$245,329
The proposed clinical trial funded by this grant has been completed successfully. The results support the potential of intratumoral GLA to successfully stimulate the immune system against Merkel tumors. These results have contributed to ongoing development of GLA in many trials.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact
Seattle

Legislative Districts:
11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

Cancer Diagnostics, Therapeutics