publication date: Oct. 13, 2017

The genesis of the first site-agnostic indication

By Paul Goldberg

When he was at Johns Hopkins, there was nothing whatsoever noteworthy about Luis Diaz wandering into Bert Vogelstein’s office.

Usually, an idea—sometimes even a good idea—was involved.

The idea Diaz brought in one day five years ago was clearly one of the good ones:

“I said, ‘Bert, I think I know how these things work,’” Diaz said. The “things” Diaz was referring to were PD-1 and PD-L1 drugs, also known as checkpoint inhibitors. “They respond in melanoma and lung cancer, and I think it’s high mutation.”


Luis Diaz, then at Johns Hopkins, had a hunch that resulted in the first site-agnostic approval in history.

It might then follow that microsatellite instability-high colorectal cancers would be more likely to respond to checkpoint inhibitors. This might apply to hereditary MSI-H, found in the Lynch syndrome, the molecular basis for which Vogelstein helped define, as well as sporadic MSI-H. Vogelstein is the Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology and director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A clinical … Continue reading The genesis of the first site-agnostic indication

To access this members-only content, please log in.
If you're not a subscriber why not join today?
If you believe you should be able to view this area but cannot log in, then please contact us and we will try to rectify this issue as soon as possible.
To gain access to the members only content click here to subscribe.
You will be given immediate access to premium content on the site.
Click here to join.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Cancer Letter Inc.