publication date: Feb. 28, 2020

Clinical Roundup

Immunotherapy combination effective for patients with high-grade neuroendocrine cancer

Many patients with rare, fast-growing neuroendocrine tumors respond well to a combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab, according to the first peer-reviewed publication out of DART, a rare cancer clinical trial.

DART offers the immunotherapy combination to patients with 53 classes of rare cancers through a basket design, which allows a single drug or drug combination to be tested in a variety of tumor types. The trial has established more opportunities for immunotherapy drug development in rare cancers, which make up almost a quarter of all cancers diagnosed worldwide.

DART is managed by SWOG Cancer Research Network.

Patients with high-grade, or fast-growing, neuroendocrine carcinoma have few treatment options, according to the study published in Clinical Cancer Research.

“Based on the response, we opened another study enrolling only patients with high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma to see if we can replicate our results,” Sandip Pravin Patel, DART clinical study chair, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, and a medical oncologist with Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, said in a statement. Other DART chairs are Razelle Kurzrock, of UCSD Moores Cancer Center, and Young Kwang Chae, of Northwestern University.

For this neuroendocrine cohort, 32 eligible patients received the ipilimumab and nivolumab combination. Of the 32, 18 had high-grade cancer, with tumors most commonly appearing in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract. Regardless of where their tumors appeared, eight out of 18 high-grade patients—or 44% saw them shrink partially or completely. By contrast, patients with intermediate or low-grade tumors saw no response.

Since its 2017 launch, physicians at … Continue reading Immunotherapy combination effective for patients with high-grade neuroendocrine cancer

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