A randomized pilot study of SRL172 (Mycobacterium vaccae) in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) treated with chemotherapy

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2002 Feb;14(1):23-7. doi: 10.1053/clon.2001.0030.


Background: SRL172 is a suspension of heat killed Mycobacterium vaccae, that has been found to be a potent immunological adjuvant when used with autologous cells in animal models. This is a phase II study to test the clinical activity, feasibility and safety of combining SRL172 with chemotherapy to treat patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Methods: Patients were randomized to receive chemotherapy with (n=14) or without (n=14) SRL172. The chemotherapy was either platinum-based (MVP, n=10) or anthracycline-based (ACE, n=18). SRL172 was given intradermally on day 0, weeks 4, 8 and then 3-6 monthly.

Results: The treatment arms were well balanced for disease extent (43% with limited stage in each arm). The toxicity of chemotherapy and overall response at 12-15 weeks (57%) was the same for both treatment regimens. Median survival was 8.6 months and 12.9 for patients treated with chemotherapy alone and with the combination respectively (P=0.10). The survival trend was similar for both disease extent and chemotherapy regimen employed in favour of combination chemotherapy with SRL172.

Conclusions: There is a trend to improved median survival in SCLC with the combination of chemotherapy and SRL172 with no increased toxicity and irrespective of drug regimen. A phase III study examining chemotherapy in combination with SRL172 in SCLC is now underway.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacterial Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium*
  • Pilot Projects


  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • SRL172