CURE's Clinical Trial Corner: February 2020


Here is a list of the recent trial initiations that occurred within the cancer space in February.

As the cancer treatment landscape continues to grow, patients and their caregivers should be aware of the various clinical trials currently being conducted — and ones they can possibly join.

Colorectal Cancer

VBL Therapeutics launched a phase 2 clinical trial of VB-111 in combination with Opdivo (nivolumab) to treat patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The researchers are hoping that by treating with VB-111 first, the agent will drive immune cells into the tumor and turn the colorectal tumor from immunologically “cold” to “hot.” Moreover, the addition of Opdivo could further boost the anti-tumor immune response.

“…We were particularly encouraged by results in ovarian cancer demonstrating the recruitment of infiltrating T cells into a tumor following treatment with VB-111, turning the tumor ‘hot,’” Dr. Dror Harats, CEO of VBL Therapeutics, said in a press release. “This important finding suggests that VB-111 may be applied to other ‘cold’ tumors, in which checkpoint inhibitors show limited or no efficacy, including colorectal cancer, for which there remains a major unmet need.”

For patients interested in enrolling in this clinical study, please contact NCI’s toll-free number 1-800-4-Cancer (1-800-422-6237) (TTY: 1-800-332-8615) and/or the Web site:


The first patient was enrolled in an open label, phase 1 trial designed to evaluate a Wilms tumor-1-targeting peptide immunotherapeutic agent, GPS, in combination with Opdivo (nivolumab) in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The study is being conducted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and is enrolling patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who harbor relapsed or refractory disease after having received frontline, standard-of-care multimodality therapy.


Incysus Therapeutics initiated a phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate a novel drug resistant immunotherapy technology for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The technology combines conventional chemotherapies with a type of T cell-based immunotherapy to modify the tumor microenvironment and drive the immune system.

This trial — which is being conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham – is now active and open for enrollment.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

A new phase 1 trial will evaluate a novel universal natural killer cell approach to treat patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The study will evaluate the safety, effectiveness and optimal treatment delivery of the natural killer cell product in up to 56 patients, ages 18-80 who have primary refractory AML, relapsed AML, or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

The trial, which is being conducted at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), is expected to begin enrolling patients in March 2020.

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