The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Oncology Research Program announced it awarded a grant to study the efficacy of an immunotherapeutic drug and other therapeutic methods as it relates to hepatocellular carcinoma.
Jessica Frakes, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, plans to use the grant to conduct a phase 1 trial that studies bavituximab (PGN401, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc.) and other therapies’ impact on patients with HCC, according to a press release.
“Immunotherapy has been very successful in other diseases,” Frakes told Healio.com/Hepatology. “We hope the combination of stereotactic body radiation therapy and immunotherapy will improve the disease response and overall survival for these patients without increases toxicity from treatment.”
“We strive to improve the quality of life for patients and reduce cancer related deaths by advancing cancer therapies through research,” Susan Most, RN, BSN, MBA, director of oncology research program for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “We believe we can achieve this goal by supporting high quality research.”
Frakes’ study “aligns with our development strategy for bavituximab, which is currently focused on small, early stage clinical trials evaluating the drug in combination with other cancer treatments. … We look forward to integrating the valuable clinical data generated by these investigators to expand our knowledge regarding bavituximab-focused cancer treatment combinations,” Joseph Shan, MPH, vice president, clinical and regulatory affairs, Perergine, said in the press release.
Frakes told Healio.com/Hepatology she anticipates completing her research — titled “A Phase I Trial of Sorafenib and Bavituximab Plus Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Unresectable Hepatitis C Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma” — within 2 years. – by Janel Miller
Disclosures: Neither Frakes nor Most report any relevant financial disclosures. Shan works for Perergine Pharmaceuticals.