Health & Wellness

Press Releases

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care First in World to Begin Clinical Trial of Novel Virus-Based Immunotherapy for Late-Stage Melanoma; First Patient Enrolled

42c572f80e7f468a59e9_carousel_image_86a4d0dd75515ed5d6e2_hospital.jpg
42c572f80e7f468a59e9_carousel_image_86a4d0dd75515ed5d6e2_hospital.jpg

Dr. Eric Whitman Leads Study of Experimental Drug That Uses Cold Virus to Disable Cancer Cells in Patients Who Have Not Responded to Other Treatments

Morristown, NJ Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is the first oncology institution in the world to sign on to, and to enroll the first patient in, a multicenter Phase IIa clinical trial of OBP-301 (Telomelysin®), a virus-based immunotherapy for late-stage melanoma that has not responded to other treatments. 

This leading-edge experimental therapy, which is under development by Japanese biotechnology company Oncolys BioPharma, uses the common cold virus to modify a gene that can selectively replicate in, and destroy, cancer cells. The study protocol was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June.

Sign Up for E-News

The clinical trial is being led locally by Eric D. Whitman, MD, FACS, medical director of Atlantic Health System Cancer Care and director of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center’s Atlantic Melanoma Center at Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center.

“This targeted immunotherapy holds great promise for improving survival rates in patients with unresectable and metastatic melanoma,” said Dr. Whitman.  “We are proud to have been chosen as the first site for this leading edge clinical trial, and happy to be able to offer a wide range of the latest established and experimental treatments to our patients.”

Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, affects more than 50,000 people each year. Although the chances of having melanoma increase with age, the number of cases among young adults is rising every year. Melanoma can have serious health consequences and may even be fatal.

The OBP-301 trial is a multicenter, Phase IIa study to evaluate how melanoma tumors respond to injection of this drug in patients with Stage III and Stage IV melanoma -- that is, to determine how much the drug shrinks or destroys tumors after it is injected into them.  The study, which will also look at potential side effects, is “open label,” meaning that all participants in the study will receive OBP-301. 

OBP-301 is a type of virus known as an adenovirus. Adenoviruses are common in nature and when they multiply in normal human cells they may cause infections that result in symptoms like those of the common cold or the flu.  OBP-301 has been genetically changed from the original virus to reproduce in target cancer cells that are emitting a certain signal. As a result of this reproduction, OBP-301 is believed to burst and kill tumor cells.

Study participants will receive multiple injections into their tumors over a period of several weeks.  Blood tests will be done to evaluate the level of virus in patients’ systems, and for immune response monitoring. Dr. Whitman and colleagues will also evaluate how long it takes to get a response and how long responses last, as well as overall survival and progression-free survival rates.

In preclinical studies, Oncolys demonstrated OBP-301’s anti-tumor activity in various types of cancer cells.  A Phase I clinical trial in the U.S. demonstrated the drug’s safety, and showed that it shrank tumors in a majority of study participants, who had a variety of solid tumors.  Additional studies of the drug have been completed, or are underway, in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

The Atlantic Melanoma Center, a clinical and research center of excellence, is an internationally-recognized program. The center’s multidisciplinary approach-- combining the expertise of board-certified surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and nurses – treats all forms of melanoma, including those in the skin, mucous membranes and eyes.  Patients receive the latest medical treatments, and when needed, melanoma surgery is also available. 

For more information on the OBP-301 clinical trial or other studies, please call the Atlantic Melanoma Center at 973-971-7111.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Somerset: Act Now to Save 15 Percent Off Pulse Summer Sports Camps

May 20, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Pulse Premier Sports Camps offer an innovative approach to sports education. Curriculums are designed for young athletes of all skill levels who have a passion for sports and demand more during key influential years.

Starting in June Pulse will be running their Premier Soccer & Multi Sports Camps at Rutgers Prep, TAP here for details.

Act now and you can save 15 ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Three Bloomfield Teens Are Missing, Police Seek Community Assistance to Locate Them (FOUND)

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Bloomfield Department of Public Safety Director Samuel DeMaio confirmed that three missing teenagers have been found safe at a McDonald's restaurant in Pennsylvania.

Original article:

The Bloomfield Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to locate three teenagers who went missing this week. One of the parents reports that a large sum of money is ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Freeholders Adopt Somerset County Budget, Reduce Tax Rate

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has adopted a 2018 budget that reflects a slight reduction in the county tax rate.

“While Trenton is poised to increase the burden on taxpayers, Somerset County is once again keeping its pledge to deliver quality services to residents in a cost-effective manner. There will be no increase in the county taxes Somerset ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

Franklin Township: Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be formidable opponents, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Freeholders Adopt Somerset County Budget, Reduce Tax Rate

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has adopted a 2018 budget that reflects a slight reduction in the county tax rate.

“While Trenton is poised to increase the burden on taxpayers, Somerset County is once again keeping its pledge to deliver quality services to residents in a cost-effective manner. There will be no increase in the county taxes Somerset ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!