Dr. Janjigian on Immunotherapy Combinations in Gastric Cancer

Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD
Published: Thursday, Mar 29, 2018



Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the addition of checkpoint inhibitors to the treatment landscape for patients with gastric and esophageal cancer, as well as potential combinations being investigated.

Data for checkpoint inhibitors has opened the field of immunotherapy in gastric cancer. Now that the field has made this leap, physicians are trying to understand how it fits with the other available treatments, says Janjigian. Since gastric cancer is a heterogeneous disease, it is hard to move from chemotherapy. It is still important in this algorithm, but there may be subgroups of patients that can move away from chemotherapy. For example, patients with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) patients, immunotherapy is a life-changer and has groundbreaking responses, Janjigian says.

For the majority of patients, the benefit of checkpoint inhibitors is minor, and the responses are not as deep or as durable. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is FDA approved for MSI-H tumors regardless of location, but for the majority of patients with gastric cancer, combination strategies will be the way forward, says J Janjigian. Combinations of immune checkpoint inhibitors with CTLA-4 or IDO inhibitors are currently being investigated.
 


Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the addition of checkpoint inhibitors to the treatment landscape for patients with gastric and esophageal cancer, as well as potential combinations being investigated.

Data for checkpoint inhibitors has opened the field of immunotherapy in gastric cancer. Now that the field has made this leap, physicians are trying to understand how it fits with the other available treatments, says Janjigian. Since gastric cancer is a heterogeneous disease, it is hard to move from chemotherapy. It is still important in this algorithm, but there may be subgroups of patients that can move away from chemotherapy. For example, patients with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) patients, immunotherapy is a life-changer and has groundbreaking responses, Janjigian says.

For the majority of patients, the benefit of checkpoint inhibitors is minor, and the responses are not as deep or as durable. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is FDA approved for MSI-H tumors regardless of location, but for the majority of patients with gastric cancer, combination strategies will be the way forward, says J Janjigian. Combinations of immune checkpoint inhibitors with CTLA-4 or IDO inhibitors are currently being investigated.
 

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: New Frontiers in Immuno-Oncology for Microsatellite Instability-High CancersAug 29, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: 1st Annual School of Nursing Oncology™Oct 31, 20181.5
Publication Bottom Border
Border Publication
x