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

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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.

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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.  

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Randolph

REA RELEASES STATEMENT ON RECENT EVENTS IN RANDOLPH COMMUNITY

June 12, 2018

On June 4, 2018, the Randolph Board of Education (BOE) held a special meeting, at which they discussed the recent vote of no confidence by the Randolph Education Association (REA) regarding the leadership of Superintendent Jennifer Fano. In passing a resolution that unanimously expresses confidence in Superintendent Fano, along with their related statement, the Board unfortunately chose to ...

REF's Randolph Rocks 5K Photo Slideshow

June 16, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ-  Randolph Rocks "REF" 5K, 

https://youtu.be/q7BiGjKXDng

Morristown Happenings: Things to Do in Morristown This Weekend June 15-17

June 15, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Wondering what to do this weekend? Celebrate Dad by checking out the many activities and event happening in Morristown this weekend. have a great weekend everyone!

 

Friday June 15

David Heherty and the Live Off Tour; Mayo Performing Arts Center; 7:30pm

Bossa Nova Baby performed by Juliana Areias; Morris Museum's Bickford Theatre; 8pm

 

Saturday ...

Morris County Opens New Veterans Service Office

June 14, 2018

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The Morris County Board of Freeholders and representatives of the Veterans Administration and officials of the ...

Upcoming Events

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Fri, June 22, 2:00 PM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Films on Friday: Coco

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness Other

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Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Randolph School Bus Drivers Enjoy Appreciation Brunch

June 20, 2018

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Randolph Graduating Class of 2018 Told "Find Your Passion" and "Make Good Choices"

June 22, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph High School graduated the Class of 2018 on Thursday June 21, where students heard positive messages full of inspiration from their student speakers.

Principal Debbie Iosso opened the ceremony, sharing words of encouragement for her 10th RHS graduating class.  ( PHOTO SLIDESHOW  above in Photo section )

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The Power of Positive Engagement

June 21, 2018

June 15, 2018

To the Editor:

I wanted to share this letter from Laurie Beacham, Media Director for NJ 11th for Change, about the notable increase in voter turnout and citizens deciding to run in the recent primary election:

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Letter to Randolph BOE from Music Student

My Daughter, Abigail Herring wrote the following letter to the Randolph BOE last week (June 14), she and a large group of students  attended the BOE meeting to speak regarding this subject.

 

Dear Ms. Fano, The Board of Education, and to whomever this may concern,

        

            My ...

Joey Bella Memorial Fund, Inc. July Events

June 21, 2018

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‘FRIDAYS FOR FAMILIES’ VIGIL IN MORRISTOWN TO CALL FOR END TO CRUELTY AT U.S. BORDER; Congressional Candidate Mikie Sherrill To Speak at 3 pm

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Immunotherapy Clinical Trial at Overlook Medical Center Reveals Brain Tumor Shrinkage, Continues with Phase 3 Study

SUMMIT, NJ -  Following successful Phase 1 clinical trials, the Toca regimen – a new immunotherapy for patients with recurrent brain cancer – has advanced to a Phase 3 study, which is currently underway. The trial is being conducted at 68 sites across the United States, Canada, Israel and South Korea, including at Overlook Medical Center’s Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor ...

Morristown Medical Center’s National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration Features Suzzanne Douglas as Keynote Speaker and Performer

The Carol G. Simon Cancer Center Celebrates 20 Years

Morristown, N.J – The Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center celebrates its 20th Anniversary at its National Cancer Survivors Day event, Sunday, June 10 from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm.  The event is open to Carol G. Simon Cancer Center cancer survivors and their caregivers.

Twenty years ago, the ...

New Jersey Blood Services Declares Blood Emergency

New Jersey Blood Services/New York Blood Center (NYBC) has declared a blood emergency. The organization is asking people across New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey to donate blood to help replenish the blood supply for hospitals throughout the area.

 

In order to maintain a safe blood supply, a seven-day inventory of all blood types must be continually ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...