Hannah E. Dzimitrowicz, MD, on COVID-19 Vaccination in Patients With Cancer Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Hannah E. Dzimitrowicz, MD, of Duke Cancer Center, discusses study results showing that in patients with melanoma and renal cell cancer receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, the COVID-19 vaccination appears to be well tolerated and safe. A higher rate of post-vaccination symptoms reported in these patients is likely related to more frequent visits compared with controls (Abstract 625).
Kim A. Reiss, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses results of a phase I trial of a CAR-M engineered macrophage cancer therapy, known as CT-0508, for patients with solid tumors that overexpress HER2. CAR-M, designed to exploit the natural role of macrophages to initiate an antitumor response, is currently under study at multiple clinical sites (Abstract 951).
Lynda Chin, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin Dell Medical School and Apricity Health, discusses precision medicine, barriers to its progress, and the challenges that must be met to facilitate better outcomes for patients. Building evidence and trust is key, Dr. Chin explains, as is developing an infrastructure that allows more clinicians to take part in the process.
Yevgeniy R. Semenov, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, discusses new findings suggesting cutaneous adverse events such as vitiligo, lichenoid dermatitis, and psoriasis—which often occur in patients with cancer who receive immune checkpoint inhibitors—may be strongly associated with response to therapy and a 22% reduction in mortality (Abstract 814).
Hans Wildiers, MD, of University Hospitals Leuven, discusses the final results from the phase IIb AIPAC study, which suggested that eftilagimod added to paclitaxel may be of benefit to patients older than 65 years with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer after endocrine-based therapy. Eftilagimod, which is a first-in-class antigen presenting cell activator, appeared to increase circulating CD4/CD8 T cells, which correlated to improved overall survival (Abstract 948).
Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, of NYU Langone Medical Center, offers his perspective on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on oncology care and cancer clinical trials, as clinicians strive to provide optimal treatment to patients while reducing their risk of contracting the coronavirus. The steep decline in trial enrollment has recovered, with many of the changes in how research was conducted as a result of the pandemic still in place and improving the process going forward.