This combination of immunotherapy shrinks rare, neuroendocrine: Study


According to new research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research 2019, there is a significant clinical benefit for patients with high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma, which is cancer of neuroendocrine cells that frequently form tumors in the lungs and along the tract digestive as well.

Even so, this cancer is rare, about 12,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with it, every year. But do you know that the overall prevalence of the disease has grown six-fold between 1973 and 2012? Patients with a high-grade or fast-growing form tend to have few treatment options.

"We have seen a benefit in patients with high-grade carcinoma who is the population that really needs an effective treatment option," said Sandip Patel, MD, The SWOG Cancer Research Network known as DART, a clinical study chair. are really encouraging and intriguing. We found a clear difference in the response to treatment between high-grade and low-grade forms of this type of cancer, "said Patel." Thus, tumor biology makes a difference. We still do not know why, but we opened another study treatment arm for patients with only high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma to see if we found the same response to the combination of immunotherapy, "Patel added.

DART features an innovative design of & # 39; basket & # 39; which allows the testing of a single drug or combination of drugs in a variety of tumor types. DART currently tests the combination of immunotherapy with ipilimumab and nivolumabe in patients with 37 rare cancers, which together make up nearly a quarter of all cancers diagnosed worldwide.

Researchers enrolled 33 patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Of these 33 patients, 19 had high-grade disease. Most of the patients' tumors were located in the gastrointestinal tract or lungs. All patients received doses of ipilimumab every six weeks and doses of nivolumab every two weeks and continue treatment for as long as their bodies respond to the drugs. The results showed that 42 percent of patients with the high-grade form of neuroendocrine carcinoma saw their tumors shrink partially or completely after treatment, while none of the low-grade patients did. For all patients, 70% saw the cancer spread in six months.

Patients survived a median of at least 11 months after treatment. Some patients are alive more than a year after treatment, and doctors continue to monitor their progress. "There is a myth that you can not successfully complete clinical trials on rare cancers. Researchers find it very difficult to find patients. But DART shows us that we can conduct rare cancer tests, enroll patients quickly, and know if therapies are effective in rare diseases, "he said." We can also offer experimental drugs to patients in their communities. They do not necessarily need to travel to a cancer center to enroll in a clinical trial. "

Posted on: April 2, 2019 20:59


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