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Immunotherapy

San Francisco, CA—Second-line treatment with a 3-drug regimen that included the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo), the VEGF receptor antagonist ramucirumab (Cyramza), and chemotherapy with the taxane paclitaxel, showed durable and impressive response rates, regardless of PD-L1 expression, in patients with advanced gastric cancers.
San Francisco, CA—Combining cabozantinib (Cabometyx) with atezolizumab (Tecentriq) induced responses in 32% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) who had soft-tissue progression after previous novel hormonal therapy.
The FDA has granted priority review to Merck’s supplemental Biologics License Application for the anti-PD–1 agent pembrolizumab as monotherapy for certain patients with high-risk, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer who are ineligible for or have elected not to undergo cystectomy.
Chicago, IL—With 475 cell and gene therapy companies in North America representing a business enterprise with approximately $20 billion, new immunotherapies are moving rapidly from the laboratory to the clinic. As chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy makes its way from the academic to the community setting, however, appropriate resources and infrastructure are required to ensure the safe and effective management of patients.
Atlanta, GA—Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has had dramatic results in hematologic malignancies, but so far, getting CAR T-cells to work in solid tumors has proved elusive. That may be about to change if promising results from a phase 1 clinical trial are confirmed by further studies. The results of this pivotal study were presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting.
San Diego, CA—Patients with relapsed, refractory, or high-risk hematologic malignancies obtained durable benefits with the combined checkpoint inhibition with nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) as consolidation therapy after stem-cell transplant, according to results of a small prospective study presented at ASH 2018.
San Diego, CA—A dizzying array of new chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies targeting the B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) designed specifically for the treatment of multiple myeloma was presented at ASH 2018. BCMA-targeted CAR T-cell therapies are designed to improve T-cell persistence, depth of response, and tolerability. Response rates reported at ASH 2018 range from 70% to 100%, depending on the patient population and the use of previous regimens.
Although chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy has achieved remarkable long-­lasting remissions in B-cell malignancies, in approximately 60%, the initial response wanes over time because of “immune exhaustion.”
Learning how to activate and harness the immune system—the body’s built-in defense against disease—has brought the field of oncology to the cusp of a cure for at least some, if not many, types of cancer, according to an international authority in immuno-oncology.
The CAR product “is essentially an autologous T-cell, which is transduced using a lentiviral encoding vector for a CAR, which is specific to human BCMA,” said Dr Raje. The co-stimulatory domain that includes 4-1BB is believed to be associated with durable CAR T-cell persistence compared with the CD28 co-stimulatory domain.
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