Dr. Olawaiye on Investigating Balstilimab Plus Zalifrelimab in Gynecologic Cancers

Alexander Babatunde Olawaiye, MD, discusses the investigation of balstilimab plus zalifrelimab in gynecologic cancers.

Alexander Babatunde Olawaiye, MD, director, Gynecologic Oncology Research Program, assistant professor, Gynecologic Oncology, the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Hillman Cancer Center, discusses the investigation of balstilimab plus zalifrelimab in gynecologic cancers.

Currently, the combination is being studied in ongoing clinical trials for patients with gynecologic malignancies and the early data look promising because of the biological mechanism that is being targeted by the agents, Olawaiye says. However, additional data are needed, Olawaiye adds. In the past, clinical trials like the phase 3 JAVELIN OVARIAN 100 (NCT02718417), JAVELIN Ovarian 200 (NCT02580058), and IMagyn050 (NCT03038100) trials that were carefully crafted and conducted evaluated the utility of immunotherapy in gynecologic cancers yielded disappointing outcomes, Olawaiye explains. 

Moreover, clinical rationale suggested that patients may benefit from immunomodulation; however, outcomes of previous studies were examined, they were disappointing, Olawaiye continues. The biological rationale behind the combination of balstilimab and zalifrelimab suggests that more favorable outcomes may be achieved with the combination, Olawaiye concludes.

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