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Pembrolizumab Plus BL-8040 Shows Promise in Pancreatic Cancer

Angelica Welch
Published: Friday, Dec 28, 2018

Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD

Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD
The CXCR4 antagonist BL-8040 in combination with the PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) showed promising survival data in a phase IIa trial of patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma (NCT02826486). This study may serve as the gateway to immunotherapy for this population, according to lead investigator Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD.

, Hidalgo, professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, chief, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discussed the potential with BL-8040 and pembrolizumab in pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

OncLive: Can you please give an overview of this trial?

Hidalgo: This was a phase IIa trial of BL-8040, which is a CXCR4 inhibitor. By inhibiting this receptor, the drug facilitates the infiltration of T cells in the tumor. The trial was conducted in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who had progressed after at least 1 prior line of chemotherapy. Many patients had more than 1 line [of treatment]. BL-8040 was given in combination with pembrolizumab. The idea behind this study is to prime the tumor by inhibiting CXCR4 signaling with BL-8040, allowing lymphocytes into the tumor, and then pembrolizumab is given with the intention to activate them to kill the tumor. Those are the basics.
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Community Practice Connections™: Navigating Treatment Sequencing in Pancreatic Cancer: Experts Paving the Road Toward Patient-Centric CareAug 30, 20201.5
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