Dr. Singh Discusses the Future of Immunotherapy in GIST

Arun S. Singh, MD
Published: Thursday, Feb 01, 2018



Arun S. Singh, MD, associate professor, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, discusses the future of immunotherapy in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

In a trial of nivolumab (Opdivo) alone and in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy), patients with heavily pretreated GIST demonstrated encouraging responses to the combination of immunotherapy. Interim data from the first 14 patients was presented at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. The first 14 patients enrolled in a randomized phase II study showed stable disease (SD) as best response in 3 of 7 patients treated with nivolumab monotherapy and 1 partial response and 2 SD in patients receiving both nivolumab and ipilimumab.

Considering the durable responses seen in this trial, Singh says that there is a future for immunotherapy in the treatment of GIST. There will be another 20 patients added to the trial, so this additional information may confirm benefit. This expansion will allow investigators to get a better sense of how many patients respond and for how long, so that future trials with novel immunotherapy combinations can be planned.

Additionally, Singh says that combination trials with immunotherapy and TKIs are a possible direction.


Arun S. Singh, MD, associate professor, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, discusses the future of immunotherapy in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

In a trial of nivolumab (Opdivo) alone and in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy), patients with heavily pretreated GIST demonstrated encouraging responses to the combination of immunotherapy. Interim data from the first 14 patients was presented at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. The first 14 patients enrolled in a randomized phase II study showed stable disease (SD) as best response in 3 of 7 patients treated with nivolumab monotherapy and 1 partial response and 2 SD in patients receiving both nivolumab and ipilimumab.

Considering the durable responses seen in this trial, Singh says that there is a future for immunotherapy in the treatment of GIST. There will be another 20 patients added to the trial, so this additional information may confirm benefit. This expansion will allow investigators to get a better sense of how many patients respond and for how long, so that future trials with novel immunotherapy combinations can be planned.

Additionally, Singh says that combination trials with immunotherapy and TKIs are a possible direction.

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