Reclaiming Independence from Melanoma
Fran’s personal experience began in 1996, when her mother was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma on the bottom of her foot, which eventually took her life. In October 2017, Fran found a small red dot on her foot and immediately knew what it was – melanoma.
Fran underwent surgery, radiation and a series of failed immunotherapies – IMLYGIC® (talimogene laherparepvec), KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), OPDIVO® (nivolumab) and YERVOY® (ipilimumab), but the melanoma spread throughout her body – including her lung, liver, chest cavity, neck and brain.
Fran then learned about TAVO™ (tavokinogene telseplasmid) from her oncologist, who suggested the possibility to use it, provided that OncoSec was willing to provide it under FDA’s expanded access program.
Fran’s response, “absolutely, because I trust him [her oncologist] immensely, and I was headed down a one-way street with a dead end.
Sometimes called “compassionate use”, expanded access is a potential pathway for a patient with an immediate life-threatening condition or serious disease to gain access to an investigational product (drug, biologic, or medical device). This includes treatment outside of clinical trials when no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy options are available. OncoSec supported Fran’s oncologists request for TAVO™ and Fran began treatment.
After her first few TAVO™ treatments in combination with Merck’s KEYTRUDA®, Fran’s tumors began to shrink drastically. Importantly, Fran had recently taken KEYTRUDA®, as well as several other immunotherapies, but they hadn’t work for her. By taking TAVO™ with KEYTRUDA®, Fran was no longer “driving down a one-way street with a dead end,” but instead driving to go grocery shopping and to have lunch with her friends. Fran began to lead a normal life again.
Fran hopes to spread the word for other cancer patients to be more aware of TAVO™ and her experience.
OncoSec’s product candidates are investigational and have not been approved by the FDA. The results described in these testimonials may not be representative of the patient experience as the product candidates remain investigational.