Dr. O'Reilly on Immunotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer

Eileen O'Reilly, MD
Published: Friday, Jun 22, 2018



Eileen O'Reilly, MD, associate director for clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer.

The treatment landscape of pancreatic cancer is an area in flux, says O’Reilly. Pancreatic cancer is traditionally considered to be an immune-resistant disease. There is a lack of effector T cells, an abundance of myeloid-derived suppressor T cells, and a dearth of key immune effector and regulatory cells. This may be part of the reason why physicians have not seen a significant signal in pancreatic cancer with single-agent checkpoint inhibitors compared to other diseases. However, there are a lot of strategies being pursued to make pancreatic cancer immune responsive.

There are studies underway in the second-line setting combining immune agents with chemotherapy. The Parker Consortium is looking at combining gemcitabine with nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) and nivolumab (Opdivo) with CD40 agonistic monoclonal antibody, following promising preclinical data. There is also a phase III trial about to mature looking at FOLFOX and pegylated interleukin-10. The study will likely complete accrual later this year.

Another area of interest is CSF1R. Some data were presented at the 2018 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting for a cohort of heavily-pretreated patients who received a CSF1R inhibitor and nivolumab. O’Reilly states that there were a notable number of durable responses for 5 patients. This combination is being developed further with chemotherapy in the second-line setting.


Eileen O'Reilly, MD, associate director for clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the role of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer.

The treatment landscape of pancreatic cancer is an area in flux, says O’Reilly. Pancreatic cancer is traditionally considered to be an immune-resistant disease. There is a lack of effector T cells, an abundance of myeloid-derived suppressor T cells, and a dearth of key immune effector and regulatory cells. This may be part of the reason why physicians have not seen a significant signal in pancreatic cancer with single-agent checkpoint inhibitors compared to other diseases. However, there are a lot of strategies being pursued to make pancreatic cancer immune responsive.

There are studies underway in the second-line setting combining immune agents with chemotherapy. The Parker Consortium is looking at combining gemcitabine with nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) and nivolumab (Opdivo) with CD40 agonistic monoclonal antibody, following promising preclinical data. There is also a phase III trial about to mature looking at FOLFOX and pegylated interleukin-10. The study will likely complete accrual later this year.

Another area of interest is CSF1R. Some data were presented at the 2018 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting for a cohort of heavily-pretreated patients who received a CSF1R inhibitor and nivolumab. O’Reilly states that there were a notable number of durable responses for 5 patients. This combination is being developed further with chemotherapy in the second-line setting.



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Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Oncology Briefings™: Integrating Novel Targeted Treatment Strategies to Advance Pancreatic Cancer CareNov 30, 20181.0
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