Dr. Ciombor on Ongoing Research Efforts in Rectal Cancer


Kristen K. Ciombor, MD, MSCI, discusses ongoing research efforts being made in rectal cancer.

Kristen K. Ciombor, MD, MSCI, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, discusses ongoing research efforts being made in rectal cancer.

Many treatment options are available for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, however, there is still a need for further studies to be conducted in this patient population, including efforts focused on biomarker selection, Ciombor says. Novel efforts may lead to the development of non-operative strategies in patients who would otherwise have their rectum surgically resected or provide further opportunities to improve outcomes through personalized approaches, Ciombor adds.

For example, an ongoing study being conducted by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group will examine the use of immunotherapy versus chemotherapy or chemoradiation in patients with microsatellite instability–high disease. Based on the efficacy immunotherapy has demonstrated in patients with metastatic disease, investigators will examine the use of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) plus short-course radiation therapy, Ciombor concludes.

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