Following diagnosis, colon cancer can be categorized into four stages. Stage I disease is confined to the mucosa and sub-mucosa of the colon. Stage II tumors have penetrated farther into the muscles around the colon, but the tumor has not visibly spread to lymph nodes of more distant sites. Stage III tumors have either locally advanced disease or demonstrate regional lymph node involvement. Stage IV tumors have distant metastases at diagnosis.
The global incidence of stage I-IV colon cancer is 900,000 patients per year of which 269,000 are stage II. Following surgery, there is currently no approved treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence for stage II disease, representing a population of unmet medical need. It’s very rare that these patients undergo chemotherapy afterwards, and the current evidence is mixed about whether this course of action is even beneficial. Additionally, the prevalence of stage II colon cancer has increased due to more rigorous screening practices and endoscopic examinations. Consequently, stage II colon cancer is expected to represent 46% of the US and EU colon cancer burden by 2020.
According to NCCN, historically, about 30% of stage II colon cancers will recur following surgery. The 5-year survival for recurrent colon cancer patients after surgery can be as low as 30%.[1,2] Survival can be even lower depending on the site of metastatic involvement. For these reasons, Vaccinogen is dedicated to reducing the risk of colon cancer recurrence and meeting this unmet medical need.