Immunotherapy

On December 2, 2019, Merck announced that the FDA has granted priority review for its supplemental biologics license application for the anti–PD-1 agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda). If approved, the drug would be indicated as monotherapy to treat patients with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin–unresponsive, high-risk, non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer who are ineligible for or have decided not to undergo cystectomy. Read Article ›

Reprogramming patients’ immune cells to treat their cancer has become the front line of cancer therapy, with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy now approved by the FDA for several blood cancers. But translating this success to solid tumors remains a challenge. At the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Gianpietro Dotti, MD, Cancer Cellular Immunotherapy Program, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discussed efforts to extend the application of CAR T-cell therapy to solid tumors.

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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. Read Article ›

Moving PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors to an early line of therapy, immediately after chemoradiation, has improved survival for patients with unresectable, stage III non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Read Article ›

The era of immunotherapy has opened new perspectives in renal-cell carcinoma (RCC), which is one of the tumors most highly infiltrated with CD T-cells and PD-1 expression, partially accounting for its sensitivity to immunotherapy. Other mechanisms to explain its sensitivity include myeloid infiltration, metabolic alterations, loss-of-function mutations, and human endogenous retroviruses. Read Article ›

Many patients with leukemia or lymphoma who receive treatment with anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy achieve minimum residual disease (MRD) negativity, and many are in complete remission well beyond 12 months. As such, CAR T-cell therapies are curing these patients, said David L. Porter, MD, Director, Cell Therapy and Transplantation, Penn Medicine, Abram­son Cancer Center, Philadelphia, at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium. Read Article ›

The combination of the PD-1 inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi) and the investigational CTLA-4 inhibitor tremelimumab plus best supportive care improved overall survival (OS) by more than 2 months versus best supportive care alone in a phase 2 clinical trial of patients with refractory colorectal cancer (CRC), reported Eric Xueyu Chen, MD, PhD, Staff Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada, at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Read Article ›

Patients with ovarian cancer can respond to immunotherapy, but rationally designed synergistic combinations will be necessary to enhance upfront efficacy and to sustain durability, said Daniel J. Powell Jr, PhD, Scientific Director of Immunotherapy, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Center for Cellular Immunotherapy, University of Penn­sylvania, Philadelphia, at the 2019 ASCO-­SITC Clinical Immuno-­Oncology Symposium. Read Article ›

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is associated with unique adverse events that require vigilant monitoring, aggressive care, and specialized management. Marco L. Davila, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, provided an overview of this topic at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-­Oncology Symposium. Read Article ›

Promising markers of response to immune checkpoint inhibition include tumor mutation burden (TMB) and genomic markers that reflect a disruption of the tumor immunity cycle, said Natalie Vokes, MD, MPhil, Medical Oncology Fellow, ­Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, ­Boston, at the 2019 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium. Read Article ›

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