Cancer Immunotherapy Month is observed every June.
The initiative — organized by Cancer Research Institute — is designed to increase awareness of the potential of immunotherapy to treat a variety of malignancies.
In conjunction with this observance, HemOnc Today presents eight important updates in cancer immunotherapy research and treatment.
1. Patients with previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma demonstrated reduced risk for death and improved PFS with the addition of pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) vs. placebo to best supportive care, according to results of the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-240 study. Read more.
2. One-third of a small cohort of patients with advanced gastric or pancreatic adenocarcinoma achieved objective responses to treatment with a novel claudin 18.2-specific chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Read more.
3. A novel peptide-based vaccine that targets survivin demonstrated encouraging efficacy and immunogenicity among patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Read more.
4 . The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has developed a new mobile app that assists with the grading and management of toxicities related to CAR T-cell and other immune effector cell therapies. Read more.
5. Neoadjuvant durvalumab (Imfinzi, AstraZeneca) alone or with tremelimumab (MedImmune/AstraZeneca) appeared well-tolerated, with a treatment effect observed in 79% of patients with oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma. Read more.
6. An increase in the number of immune checkpoint inhibitors approved by the FDA, along with more indications, means that 43% of patients with cancer in the United States are eligible to receive these drugs. Nevertheless, researchers estimated that fewer than 13% of patients with cancer respond to checkpoint inhibitors. Read more.
7. Research presented at this year’s Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings provided new insights into treatment costs and hospital stays associated with CAR T-cell therapy. Results showed patients aged younger than 25 years required longer median hospital stays and faced higher costs than older patients. Read more.
8. Hyperprogressive disease did not appear to be related to clinically significant adverse events, age, tumor type or type of immunotherapy among patients with solid tumors in early-phase trials. Read more.