Silvia C. Formenti, MD, on Adapting Radiation Therapy to Immune Checkpoint Blockade
AACR Annual Meeting 2022
Silvia C. Formenti, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses research on the best way to integrate radiotherapy with immune modifiers, which might require changes in standard radiation oncology practices. Variables such as the type of treatment fields, the inclusion of draining nodal stations, the degree of exposure of circulating immune cells, the type of dose fractionation, and the timing of radiotherapy during immune checkpoint blockade all can affect the success of immunoradiotherapy combinations (Abstract SY43).
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).
Nicolas Girard, MD, PhD, of the Institut Curie, discusses findings from the phase III CheckMate 816 trial, which is the first study with an immunotherapy-based combination to demonstrate improved event-free survival and pathologic complete response in the neoadjuvant setting for patients with resectable stage IB to IIIA non–small cell lung cancer. The results may benefit the 30% to 55% of patients whose cancer recurs after surgery (Abstract CT012).
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).
Tina Cascone, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the findings of the phase II NeoCOAST study, which showed that combination immunotherapy with the anti–PD-L1 monoclonal antibody durvalumab and other novel agents resulted in numerically higher major pathologic response rates than durvalumab alone in the neoadjuvant setting for patients with early-stage resectable non–small cell lung cancer. Translational results also supported combination therapies over single-agent therapy (Abstract CT011).
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).