Dr. Van Morris on Nivolumab as a Potential Treatment for Patients With Anal Cancer

Van K. Morris, MD
Published: Monday, May 02, 2016



Van K. Morris, MD, assistant professor of GI Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses a study examining nivolumab (Opdivo) as a potential treatment for patients with anal cancer.

In a study looking at pretreated patients with metastatic anal cancer, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center examined the efficacy of single-agent nivolumab. Responses were seen in 5 of 18 patients—a 28% overall response rate. Of the 18 patients, 9 provided paired biopsies.

Patients who responded to nivolumab were found to have higher levels of CD8-positive and granzyme B cells at baseline. Although this is a small study, the increased levels of activated T cells suggests a response to nivolumab. Additionally, patients who responded were found to have higher levels of PD-1/PD-L1.


Van K. Morris, MD, assistant professor of GI Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses a study examining nivolumab (Opdivo) as a potential treatment for patients with anal cancer.

In a study looking at pretreated patients with metastatic anal cancer, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center examined the efficacy of single-agent nivolumab. Responses were seen in 5 of 18 patients—a 28% overall response rate. Of the 18 patients, 9 provided paired biopsies.

Patients who responded to nivolumab were found to have higher levels of CD8-positive and granzyme B cells at baseline. Although this is a small study, the increased levels of activated T cells suggests a response to nivolumab. Additionally, patients who responded were found to have higher levels of PD-1/PD-L1.



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