Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Difficult-to-treat bowel cancers respond in first study of new drug combination

Public Release: 14-Nov-2018
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation

Dublin, Ireland: Early results from a phase I trial in a small group of patients with advanced cancer using two drugs (nivolumab and pixatimod) that stimulate the immune system report that patients with bowel cancer may benefit from the combination.


He said that the data suggested that a population of colorectal cancer patients, considered to be microsatellite stable (MSS), received benefit from the drug combination. MSS patients, unlike microsatellite unstable patients, have tumours bearing fewer signals that alert the immune system to the cancer. This is thought to be a major reason why checkpoint inhibitors, such as nivolumab, have been unsuccessful in treating MSS colorectal cancer (CRC).

"No patients with microsatellite stable colorectal cancers have been reported to respond to monotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy," he said. "However, in this study of a new drug combination, we observed clinical benefit in four out of five MSS CRC patients enrolled, including two demonstrating a reduction in the tumour burden."


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