Dr. Michael J. Overman on Immunotherapy in Colorectal Cancer


Michael J. Overman, MD, associate professor, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses immunotherapy in colorectal cancer (CRC).

The interim phase II results of the CheckMate-142 study demonstrated that in patients with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) CRC the immunotherapy combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) showed encouraging activity.

This data, in addition to previous pembrolizumab and nivolumab data, supports the activity of PD-1 targeting, said Overman.

Some of the highest response and stable-disease rates that have ever been seen occurred with immune checkpoint therapy, he adds.

Going forward, immune checkpoints will be moved into earlier lines of therapy, he said.

One question that remains open in CRC is, “should immunotherapy replace chemotherapy in the MSI-H population,” said Overman. There is refractory base that shows that this could really be the case, but it is unknown if a combination approach will be the best way to achieve this in the future.

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