Christina L. Roland, MD, PhD, discusses the rationale for a phase 2 study evaluating neoadjuvant checkpoint blockade study in patients with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma and dedifferentiated liposarcoma.
Christina L. Roland, MD, PhD, chief of Sarcoma Surgery; an assistant professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology in the Division of Surgery; and associate medical director of the Sarcoma Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the rationale for a phase 2 study (NCT03307616) evaluating neoadjuvant checkpoint blockade study in patients with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) and dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS).
In recent years, immunotherapy has started to emerge as a potential treatment modality in sarcoma, says Roland. At the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting, results of the phase 2 SARC028 trial demonstrated objective responses with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) rates in both UPS and DDLPS.
In another phase 2 trial, nivolumab (Opdivo) was evaluated as a single-agent and in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) in the neoadjuvant setting. Notably, in this setting, patients typically have a lower burden of disease and are more likely to be cured.
The randomized phase 2 trial was modeled after a melanoma study, says Roland. The study was designed to assess the pathological response, a surrogate outcome for survival.
The results of the study showed significant clinical activity in patients with UPS who received nivolumab with or without ipilimumab plus concurrent radiation therapy, Roland concludes.