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Combined Immunotherapy Treatment Studied in Advanced Lung Cancer

By: Sara Tewksbury
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Use of two immunotherapies together—NIR178 (PBF-509) and spartalizumab (PDR001)—appear to be active in patients with non–small cell lung cancer. A phase I/II clinical trial led by Professor Alberto Chiappori, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, examined whether the combination might be more effective than either drug on its own. The results were presented at the 2018 EORTC-NCI-AACR (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer–National Cancer Institute–American Association for Cancer Research) Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Dublin (Abstract 8).

“We believe that observing responses in these heavily pretreated patients is always a positive sign that represents the potential antitumor activity of the regimen and gives a preliminary measure of the importance of continuing to investigate it in further, more definitive studies,” stated Prof. Chiappori in a European Cancer Organisation press release.

The trial of 25 patients was conducted between August 2016 and January 2018 to determine whether the combination of these immunotherapies could be used to treat patients whose disease had either failed to respond or stopped responding to previous treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy. In 2 patients, the disease shrank or disappeared, and in 14 patients, the disease remained stable and did not progress.

Spartalizumab was given intravenously at a dose of 400 mg once every 4 weeks, and NIR178 was given orally twice daily from doses of 160 mg to 240 mg and 320 mg. As of August 2018, 23 of the 25 patients (92%) discontinued treatment due to disease progression, death unrelated to the treatment, adverse side effects of the treatment, or withdrawal of consent to continue the trial. Two patients remained on the treatment. The maximum tolerated dose was 240 mg of NIR178 twice daily and 400 mg of spartalizumab every 4 weeks.



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