Stephanie T. Schmidt, PhD, on NSCLC: The Immunomodulatory Impact of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Immune-Based Treatments
Stephanie T. Schmidt, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the first integrated examination of the immunomodulatory effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, nivolumab, and nivolumab plus chemotherapy in resected non–small cell lung cancer (Abstract 962).
Yuki Muroyama, MD, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, discusses the interaction between the immune system and a novel marker—T-cell DNA damage and repair response—to understand how that interaction may affect immune cell biology and therapeutic response (Abstract 310).
John M. Kirkwood, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, discusses phase Ib findings on the combination of vidutolimod plus pembrolizumab, as well as vidutolimod monotherapy, both of which showed clinical activity in patients with PD-1 blockade–refractory melanoma. The duration of response with the combination therapy was substantially longer. Phase II studies are ongoing (Abstract 950).
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).
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).
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.