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Testing a New Immunotherapy Combo in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer


Could a combination of a monoclonal antibody and a new immunotherapy drug induce a stronger immune response in ‘cold’ tumors?

Treating pancreatic cancer through immunotherapy has been notoriously difficult, as the tumors tend to be resistant to single immunotherapeutic agents. Researchers are hoping that adding a new T cell therapeutic might make solid tumors more responsive to immunotherapy.

The Immunotherapy Combination

This clinical trial is studying the effectiveness of combining NT-I7 (efineptakin alfa) with the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab.

Pembrolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that is part of a class called checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs help restore the immune functions of T cells, so the body recognizes the cancer cells as foreign and kills them.

NT-I7 is a modified version of the protein interleukin 7 (IL-7) with a prolonged efficacy. IL-7 is a fundamental cytokine involved in T cell development that helps sustain the immune response to chronic antigens (as in cancer) or foreign antigens (as in infectious diseases).

The drug is being tested to see if it can increase T cell infiltration in the tumor microenvironment of many hard-to-treat cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and microsatellite stable colorectal cancer.


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