Treatment with checkpoint blockade has undoubtedly improved the lives of some people with advanced cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer, however the number who do achieve complete remission with single agent therapy is low (typically <20%).
In addition, not all people will respond up front while others achieve an objective response then relapse as acquired resistance or immune escape hits.
One challenge facing the field is identifying these mechanisms of resistance and finding the optimal combination approaches that lead to improved outcomes.
This weekend at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) annual meeting, there were quite a few interesting new combination developments with early data.
Here, we take a look at one such combination to explore the data, the biomarker research that is ongoing and also some of the challenges associated with finding needles in the proverbial haystack…
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A couple of years ago one of the controversial topics in the Immuno-Oncology space centered around pseudoprogression and whether it was real or not, leading to the development of immune related adverse event (iras) criteria.
Fast forward to Spring 2017 and a new controversy has sprung up, which is focused upon hyperprogression following several publications on the topic.
It’s a rather nasty situation where people with cancer can rapidly deteriorate and progress faster than normally would be expected.
Is this down to something real associated with the immunotherapy, however, or simply a function of a sick patient taking an inert therapy that takes a while to have an impact?
Strong opinions on the topic have inevitably arose, with different views on whether the phenomenon is real or not and how we could go about assessing and measuring it. It’s an interesting debate that’s well worth following…
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