NETRF-funded researcher Daniel Halperin, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, is leading a study to evaluate the efficacy of a new combination of therapies in patients with NETS. The Phase II clinical trial (NCT03074513) measures the overall response rate of a drug combination in rare solid tumors. Two of the study’s arms will test NET patients with progressive diseases: twenty patients with extrapancreatic and twenty patients with pancreatic tumors.
The study, which is recruiting participants, aligns with Dr. Halperin’s NETRF-funded research to explore the use of immunotherapy drugs in parallel with a monoclonal antibody that blocks a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which stimulates the creation of blood vessels and, as a result, increases the delivery of nutrients and oxygen the tumor cells need to grow.
“It gets back to the idea of using an immunosuppressive mechanism in parallel with a VEGF inhibitor simultaneously,” said Dr. Halperin. The agents have been used together before, but not in any of the diseases being studied in the trial.
“We hope to learn this is an effective combination for patients,” said Dr. Halperin. “Maybe this type of combination will breakthrough that barrier and have a chance.”
MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, is the only location for this study. Dr. Halperin said patients sometimes travel to participate. The first few months of the trial are the most intensive with extra visits required for safety. Afterward, study medications are administered during visits every three weeks. Participation requires multiple biopsies: before, during, and after treatment.
Should the trial show promising results, the next step would be a larger dedicated trial, then a randomized trial.
To learn more, visit clinicaltrials.gov. If you are considering a clinical trial, first talk to your treatment team about participation.