Jonathan C. Trent, MD, PhD, discusses the potential role of immunotherapy in gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Jonathan C. Trent, MD, PhD, professor and associate director for Clinical Research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Health System, discusses the potential role of immunotherapy in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
Immunotherapy has demonstrated limited utility in patients with GIST, says Trent. A study from 2012 showed promising clinical outcomes with the combination of imatinib (Gleevec) and peginterferon α-2b in patients with GIST. The combination appeared to activate some immune cells in biopsied GIST tissue; however, the patient population size was limited, Trent says.
Additionally, the combination of ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) has elicited responses in patients with heavily pretreated GIST, Trent explains. Although immunotherapy has shown early efficacy signals in GIST, doublet or triplet strategies are likely needed to activate the immune system against GIST cells, concludes Trent.