Scientists Identifies Immunotherapy as a Potential Treatment for Pancreatic Tumors

Release Date: 10-Aug-2020

The COMBAT trial led by HonorHealth Research Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute is focused towards conducting clinical trials for immunotherapy benefit for pancreatic cancer. In the respective trial, the enrolled patients were given pembrolizumab in combination with another drug called as BL-8040. The main action of the drug is to make the microenvironment of the tumor more receptive to immune therapy.


The study was divided into two parts and the first part of the trial involved 37 patients whose cancer had already progressed on other therapies. The group 1 patients were treated with pembrolizumab and BL-8040. The second part of the trial includes 22 patients. All the patients that were enrolled in the second part of the trial received one line of chemotherapy before entering the trial. The patients received chemotherapy drugs 5-fluorouracil and nano-liposomal irinotecan and pembrolizumab and BL-8040.


In the second part of the trial, 32% tumor reduction was seen in the patients, which was double than what patients with pancreatic cancer observed with traditional chemotherapy. The results obtained through this part of the clinical trial have brought hopes to the researchers and to evaluate further, researchers have started follow up phase. Further steps of the study will include combination of COMBAT therapy with some other treatment options such as nano-liposomal irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin.

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