Roswell Park’s Dr. Pawel Kalinski to Lead $14.5M NCI-Funded Immunotherapy Effort

A team led by Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has earned a five-year, $14.54 million award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to expand a promising immunotherapy platform. Funded through the NCI’s Program Project Grant program, this prestigious five-year grant will fund five clinical trials, all focused on a strategy for making some of the most common immunotherapies work for more cancer patients.

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Immunotherapy using ‘young cells’ offers promising option against cancer

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that the age of certain immune cells used in immunotherapy plays a role in how effective it is. These cells — natural killer (NK) cells — appear to be more effective the earlier they are in development, opening the door to the possibility of an immunotherapy that would not utilize cells from the patient or a matched donor. Instead, they could be developed from existing supplies of what are called human pluripotent stem cells.

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GW Cancer Center Expands Clinical Trial Offerings for Patients with High Risk Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The Cutaneous Oncology Program at the GW Cancer Center was selected as the first global site for a clinical trial for patients with high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The study, sponsored by Regeneron, will examine outcomes for patients treated with Libtayo® (cemiplimab) — an immunotherapy treatment — prior to surgery and radiation therapy.

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John Theurer Cancer Center Participating in Early-Phase Study of Immunotherapy-Boosting Treatment

Investigators at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey are participating in a first-in-patients clinical trial assessing VE800, a novel bacteria-containing therapy, in combination with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab. Laboratory research has suggested that VE800 may enhance the effectiveness of drugs like nivolumab.

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Study Examines Kidney Injury in Patients Taking Immunotherapy Cancer Medications

In patients taking immune checkpoint inhibitors as a treatment for cancer, 17% experienced acute kidney injury (AKI), 8% experienced sustained AKI, and 3% had potential immune checkpoint inhibitor–related AKI.
• Use of proton pump inhibitors, which are commonly used to treat stomach ulcers or acid reflux, was associated with a higher risk of experiencing sustained AKI.

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