John B.A.G. Haanen, MD, PhD, on Solid Tumors: Early Study Results on CAR T Cells and the CARVac Vaccine Strategy
AACR Annual Meeting 2022
John B.A.G. Haanen, MD, PhD, of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, discusses findings from a phase I study designed to test the safety and efficacy of the CARVac (CAR-T cell-amplifying RNA vaccine) strategy to overcome poor CAR T-cell stimulation and responses in patients with CLDN6-positive advanced solid tumors. Men with testicular cancer in particular showed encouraging responses. Overall, some patients showed long-term CAR T-cell persistence more than 150 days post infusion. Partial responses seemed to deepen further over time (Abstract CT002).
David A. Barbie, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses his laboratory’s studies, showing that malignant pleural mesothelioma, an inflamed cancer type with marginal response to immune checkpoint blockade, demonstrated high tumor cell STING expression and response to STING agonists in combination with natural killer cell therapies ex vivo. STING is the tumor cell stimulator of interferon genes (Abstract 4168).
Charles L. Sawyers, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the battle against treatment resistance and how to overcome it, as well as the power of observational clinical data in precision oncology, derived largely from his experience with Project GENIE, and the role of genetic ancestry (Abstract PL02).
Klaus Pantel, MD, of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, discusses liquid biopsy technologies and biomarkers, with a focus on circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA; clinical applications such as early detection of cancer, improved staging, and surveillance of measurable residual disease; and how best to detect and monitor response to systemic therapies, as well as ways to identify therapeutic targets and resistance mechanisms (Abstract SY08).
Ari M. VanderWalde, MD, MPH, MBioeth, of The West Clinic, discusses results from the S1616 trial involving patients with metastatic or unresectable melanoma who had primary resistance to PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors. Compared with ipilimumab alone, the combination of ipilimumab plus nivolumab benefited some patients: those with tumors that responded to therapy showed an increased amount of CD8+ cells. Because there is no standard treatment for metastatic melanoma after failure of PD-1 inhibitors in BRAF wild-type disease, this research may provide a viable option in the future (Abstract CT013).
Timothy A. Yap, MBBS, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses results from a phase Ib expansion trial of the safety and efficacy of the oral ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) inhibitor elimusertib in advanced solid tumors with DNA damage response defects. Elimusertib is a selective inhibitor of ATR, a key regulator of responses to DNA damage and replication stress, with antitumor activity in preclinical models of various solid tumors and lymphoma (Abstract CT006).