Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy Emerges as a New Frontier

Anita T. Shaffer @Shaffer1
Published: Monday, Aug 20, 2018
Suzanne L.Topalian, MD

Suzanne L.Topalian, MD

The neoadjuvant use of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy is showing promise in early clinical findings, opening up a potential new frontier for the game-changing modality to make an impact in earlier treatment settings in multiple solid tumor types.

“There’s been a lot of research activity around biomarkers and also around combination therapies,” she said. “Those 2 things are really linked, because the biomarker work can identify molecules associated with treatment resistance that we might want to direct drugs against in combination with anti–PD1 or anti–PD-L1 therapy.”

Table. Selected Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy Trials

Table. Selected Neoadjuvant Immunotherapy Trials

Skin Cancer

The CheckMate-358 study represents the first trial of anti–PD-1 therapy in a neoadjuvant (presurgical) setting for patients with unresectable MCC, Topalian said in presenting the data at ASCO 2018. In 2017, avelumab (Bavencio), which targets PD-L1, gained the FDA’s approval for patients with unresectable metastatic MCC.
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