Dr. Shah Highlights Immunotherapy for Esophageal Cancer

Manish A. Shah, MD
Published: Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018



Manish A. Shah, MD, director of gastrointestinal oncology and chief of Solid Tumor Service at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, highlights immunotherapy for esophageal cancer.

In general, the prognosis is not very optimistic for patients with metastatic disease—a significant amount will die within 1 year. There are very few targeted therapies in esophageal cancer, and most patients do not receive treatment after second-line therapy, Shah says.

However, recent data suggest that the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) can have modest efficacy in the third-line setting for patients with adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The most compelling aspect of the findings, Shah adds, was the durability of the responses. Patients who responded to immunotherapy could have increased overall survival of up to 1 year or longer.

Data from the phase Ib KEYNOTE-28 trial indicate that pembrolizumab induced an overall response rate of 30% (95% CI, 13%-53%) in patients with PD-L1–positive advanced esophageal carcinoma.


Manish A. Shah, MD, director of gastrointestinal oncology and chief of Solid Tumor Service at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, highlights immunotherapy for esophageal cancer.

In general, the prognosis is not very optimistic for patients with metastatic disease—a significant amount will die within 1 year. There are very few targeted therapies in esophageal cancer, and most patients do not receive treatment after second-line therapy, Shah says.

However, recent data suggest that the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) can have modest efficacy in the third-line setting for patients with adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The most compelling aspect of the findings, Shah adds, was the durability of the responses. Patients who responded to immunotherapy could have increased overall survival of up to 1 year or longer.

Data from the phase Ib KEYNOTE-28 trial indicate that pembrolizumab induced an overall response rate of 30% (95% CI, 13%-53%) in patients with PD-L1–positive advanced esophageal carcinoma.



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