Dr. Lieu Discusses the Focus of Future Research in mCRC

Christopher Lieu, MD
Published: Thursday, Sep 12, 2019



Christopher Lieu, MD, director, GI Medical Oncology Program and deputy associated director for clinical research, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, discusses where future research should focus in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

Patients with refractory mCRC are experiencing a significantly prolonged median overall survival due to the progress that has been made, says Lieu. However, the field has not hit the ceiling of therapeutic development, and many patients need better treatment options, he adds.

One of the major areas of research right now is immunotherapy. However, immunotherapy has not been shown to be effective for the 95% of patients with mCRC who are microsatellite stable (MSS) or mismatch repair (MMR)-proficient. Over time, more immunotherapies will be tested in clinical trials for this group of patients to see whether the benefit of immunotherapy can extend beyond those with microsatellite instability. Even if immunotherapy shows signals of activity in patients with MSS/MMR-proficient tumors, Lieu foresees the greatest impact being made among small biomarker-directed subgroups.
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Christopher Lieu, MD, director, GI Medical Oncology Program and deputy associated director for clinical research, at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, discusses where future research should focus in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

Patients with refractory mCRC are experiencing a significantly prolonged median overall survival due to the progress that has been made, says Lieu. However, the field has not hit the ceiling of therapeutic development, and many patients need better treatment options, he adds.

One of the major areas of research right now is immunotherapy. However, immunotherapy has not been shown to be effective for the 95% of patients with mCRC who are microsatellite stable (MSS) or mismatch repair (MMR)-proficient. Over time, more immunotherapies will be tested in clinical trials for this group of patients to see whether the benefit of immunotherapy can extend beyond those with microsatellite instability. Even if immunotherapy shows signals of activity in patients with MSS/MMR-proficient tumors, Lieu foresees the greatest impact being made among small biomarker-directed subgroups.

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