Skin cancer vaccine to expand human trials

Twenty patients with late-stage cancers will be eligible for the study focusing on the safety of the vaccine ImmuneFx. WFLA's Daisy Ruth reports.

(WFLA/NBC News) Human trials of a skin cancer vaccine ImmuneFx will soon be expanded.

Morphogenesis, the company behind the vaccine, is expanding its human clinical trials into two more types of cancer, including advanced Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

Twenty patients with late-stage cancers will be eligible for the study.

Morphogenesis CEO Patricia Lawman says the study will be relatively easy for these patients.

“This is administered with a tuberculin syringe, just like you would get a normal vaccine,” she explains. “And it’s injected right into the tumor, so it’s one injection and then it sort of fans out to spread the genes through the tumor bed. But really, it takes about 30 seconds.”

That’s 30 seconds compared to a patient sitting in a chemo infusion bed for hours. And the injection doesn’t require local anesthesia.

The 20 patient clinical trial is just the beginning of the study.

“All of these phase one studies that we’re doing with the skin cancers are leading up to our big phase two study. That will be 160 patients. And there will be melanoma, Merkel cell and cutaneous squamous cell patients. So those patients then can just feed right into the phase two study,” Lawman says.

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