The brain is another area where we often treat a lot of patients who are already on immunotherapy and have brain metastases. The other thing we know is that RT can cause some temporary leakage or disruption of the blood-brain barrier, so the idea is that maybe that can allow the immunotherapy to work even better in the brain. It may be a synergistic thing—better than what immunotherapy and RT can do by themselves. That is what the exciting part is behind that.
Are there any other ongoing trials exploring this combination?
I presented a few published or mature studies that have been out there. Right now, for the stage IV population, we do have a national trial that is currently open at City of Hope looking at patients with limited metastatic disease. It is a select group within the stage IV population. Drug therapy could include immunotherapy or chemotherapy.
[The trial] is open now and is looking for somewhere on the order of 300 patients. We’re hoping in the next 4 or 5 years we will have the trial completed; that is a randomized study so that will be a gold standard for us to judge whether an intervention is useful. We are hoping that will give us some useful information.