A novel approach to immunotherapy developed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has led to the complete regression of breast cancer in a patient who was unresponsive to all other treatments.
This patient received the treatment in a clinical trial led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Surgery Branch at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and the findings were published June 4, 2018 in Nature Medicine. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
“We’ve developed a high-throughput method to identify mutations present in a cancer that are recognized by the immune system,” Dr. Rosenberg said. “This research is experimental right now. But because this new approach to immunotherapy is dependent on mutations, not on cancer type, it is in a sense a blueprint we can use for the treatment of many types of cancer.”
The new immunotherapy approach is a modified form of adoptive cell transfer (ACT). ACT has been effective in treating melanoma, which has high levels of somatic, or acquired, mutations. However, it has been less effective with some common epithelial cancers, or cancers that start in the lining of organs, that have lower levels of mutations, such as stomach, esophageal, ovarian, and breast cancers.
In an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial, the investigators are developing a form of ACT that uses tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) that specifically target tumor cell mutations to see if they can shrink tumors in patients with these common epithelial cancers. As with other forms of ACT, the selected TILs are grown to large numbers in the laboratory and are then infused back into the patient (who has in the meantime undergone treatment to deplete remaining lymphocytes) to create a stronger immune response against the tumor.
A patient with metastatic breast cancer came to the trial after receiving multiple treatments, including several chemotherapy and hormonal treatments, that had not stopped her cancer from progressing. To treat her, the researchers sequenced DNA and RNA from one of her tumors, as well as normal tissue to see which mutations were unique to her cancer, and identified 62 different mutations in her tumor cells.
The researchers then tested different TILs from the patient to find those that recognized one or more of these mutated proteins. TILs recognized four of the mutant proteins, and the TILs then were expanded and infused back into the patient. She was also given the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab to prevent the possible inactivation of the infused T cells by factors in the tumor microenvironment. After the treatment, all of this patient’s cancer disappeared and has not returned more than 22 months later.
“This is an illustrative case report that highlights, once again, the power of immunotherapy,” said Tom Misteli, Ph.D., director of CCR at NCI. “If confirmed in a larger study, it promises to further extend the reach of this T-cell therapy to a broader spectrum of cancers.”
Investigators have seen similar results using mutation-targeted TIL treatment for patients in the same trial with other epithelial cancers, including liver cancer and colorectal cancer. Dr. Rosenberg explained that results like this in patients with solid epithelial tumors are important because ACT has not been as successful with these kinds of cancers as with other types that have more mutations.
He said the “big picture” here is this kind of treatment is not cancer-type specific. “All cancers have mutations, and that’s what we’re attacking with this immunotherapy,” he said. “It is ironic that the very mutations that cause the cancer may prove to be the best targets to treat the cancer.”
The Latest on: Cancer immunotherapy
via Google News
The Latest on: Cancer immunotherapy
- Immunotherapy Drugs Market is Anticipated to Cross US$ 289.52 Billion by 2024 on April 17, 2019 at 7:00 am
Apr 17, 2019 (Heraldkeeper via COMTEX) -- New York, April 17, 2019: Immunotherapy refers to treatments that stimulate, beautify or suppress the body’s personal immune system. Cancer segment is ... […]
- Iteos advancing adenosine antagonist as cancer immunotherapy in phase I/Ib on April 16, 2019 at 9:18 pm
LONDON - Iteos Therapeutics SA has joined the growing band of companies seeking to reverse tumor immune evasion by blocking the anti-inflammatory effects of adenosine signaling, with dosing of the ... […]
- UCSD patient gets first cancer treatment made from stem cells on April 16, 2019 at 7:58 am
A new form of cancer immunotherapy has been given to a University of California, San Diego Health patient in the first test of immune cells grown from stem cells. The patient, Derek Ruff ... […]
- Dr. Socinski on New Applications of Immunotherapy in NSCLC on April 15, 2019 at 1:38 pm
Mark A. Socinski, MD, executive medical director, AdventHealth Medical Group, discusses new applications for immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In ... […]
- Combining Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer on April 15, 2019 at 8:54 am
Recently, various clinical trials have honed in on the use of immunotherapy to treat triple-negative breast cancer. The results of several such studies were presented at the European Society of ... […]
- Cancer Immunotherapy Market to attain a value of US$124.88 billion by 2024 - TMR on April 15, 2019 at 5:15 am
Albany, NY, Apr 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Albany, NY, April 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to TMR, the global cancer immunotherapy market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 14.6 ... […]
- Cancer cells use tactics to avoid being recognised by immunotherapy agents on April 14, 2019 at 11:53 pm
Researchers have found that bowel cancer cells have a mechanism by which they can switch off some key molecules on their surfaces and thus escape being recognised and killed by the immunotherapy ... […]
- New Target for Cancer Immunotherapy: Exosomes on April 9, 2019 at 6:08 am
It was once a central tenet of biology that RNA molecules did their work inside the cell. But it’s now clear that RNA molecules are also active outside the cell, with potentially major implications ... […]
- Kidney cancer immunotherapy combo approved for NHS use in England on April 5, 2019 at 11:27 am
A combination of immunotherapy drugs will be made available to NHS patients with advanced and aggressive kidney cancer on the NHS in England. The decision to approve the treatment follows an ... […]
via Bing News