New Clinical Trial Focuses on Use of Antibody-Drug Conjugate in Neuroendocrine Tumors and Carcinomas

A new first-in-human clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is exploring the use of an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), ADCT-701, in adults with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs), which include neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs).

ADCs are a form of targeted cancer therapy consisting of an antibody linked to a drug through a connector called a linker. This design allows ADCs to selectively target tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue. The antibody component of an ADC binds specifically to cancer cells, allowing the drug to be internalized and exert its cytotoxic effects, killing the cancer cell.

The Phase I clinical trial aims to determine the maximum tolerated dose of the humanized antibody ADCT-701 in participants with neuroendocrine neoplasms or malignant adrenocortical carcinoma. ADCT-701 targets a specific protein (called the Delta-like non-canonical Notch ligand 1) expressed in many NENs. Although multiple ADCs have been approved for various cancers, none have been approved for neuroendocrine cancers thus far.

Up to 70 participants will be enrolled over a maximum of 10 dose levels.

Other criteria apply to determine a patient’s eligibility for the study, which is led by Jaydira Del Rivero, MD, an endocrine oncologist in the Developmental Therapeutics Branch of the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health. Click here for a presentation Dr. Del Rivero gave on ADCT-701.

“I am proud and hopeful about this study because it could represent a significant advancement in the fight against neuroendocrine neoplasms and malignant adrenocortical carcinoma, conditions that currently have limited treatment options,” says Dr. Del Rivero. “By targeting the Delta-like non-canonical Notch ligand 1, which is specifically expressed in many types of neuroendocrine tumors and carcinomas, this study has the potential to provide a novel and effective therapeutic approach. This could not only improve survival rates but also enhance the quality of life for patients with these challenging cancers. We hope that our work could pave the way for new advancements in the NET field and offer hope to many in need of better treatment options.”

Next Steps

Additional information on the study can be found at Interested participants should talk to their treatment team about eligibility and determine if the study is aligned with their treatment goals.

For more information about the study, please contact Kimberley J. Cooper at (240) 858-7989 or