Interview of a Colorectal Cancer Immunotherapy Breakthrough Principal Investigator
This post is primarily for Stage IV colorectal (CRC) survivor and caregiver readers (and indirectly for Stage IV lung cancer readers as well, see below!): An interview with a Dr. Johanna Bendell, a Principal Investigator of the MSS-CRC immunotherapy breakthrough clinical trial which combined a MEK inhibitor (Cobimetinib) with a PD-L1 inhibitor (Atezolizumab). This clinical trial data was presented at ASCO-2016 by Dr. Bendell, a clinical trial expert.
I have never done four posts on the same topic before – I hope that makes clear how groundbreaking and important this trial was in the clinical development of MSS-CRC immunotherapies!
At this link HERE from the always fantastic “Novel Targets” podcast is a FANTASTIC, DETAILED and HOPE-filled audio interview by Pieter Droppert with Dr. Johanna Bendell who explains the HUGE MEK+PDL1 inhibitors combination immunotherapy breakthrough in easy to understand terms including optimism (but still unproven) it may have activity in a significant percentage of patients with both KRAS-mutant and KRAS-wildtype MSS-CRC (i.e. the entire patient population).
Next, a representative from Genentech explains the clinical trial design process in the age of immunotherapies.
Finally, for my lung cancer readers, Dr. Stephen Liu talks immunotherapy combinations for lung cancer.
If you have Stage IV CRC or lung cancer, sit down, take 30 minutes to listen, it is worth it! AND SHARE IT – patient education is so important in today’s fast moving research world!
To combine all my coverage of this trial into a single post, here are the links to my previous coverage:
- Why this trial’s results were incredibly important to MSS-CRC patients
- The pivotal registration Phase 3 trial hoped to confirm these preliminary results
- My personal analysis of the data presented by Dr. Bendell at ASCO-2016
All together, this is essential information for Stage IV CRC patients & caregivers to know. Immunotherapies are now starting to slowly get within the grasp of the MSS-CRC patient population – nothing excites me more (and it should you too!) as a scientist, as an advocate and as a fellow patient!
Of note: Some patients mistakenly equate immunotherapy drugs as having no toxicity or side effects. This is not the case – these are powerful drugs interacting with the immune system and in some patients, significant side effects can occur. Until a larger number of patients are tested, this experimental combo’s full safety & toxicity profile will not be known.