The study of a Tremelimumab-Imfinzi combination could lead to a new treatment strategy for liver cancer
Results from an AstraZeneca trial presented at a recent ASCO meeting offer hope for a new treatment for patients diagnosed with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer.
New major trial results reported by AstraZeneca using a combination of experimental drugs could lead to the approval of a new regiment for the treatment of liver cancer.
In the phase 3 HIMALAYA trial presented recently at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Symposium on Gastrointestinal Cancersa single priming dose of tremelimumab plus Imfinzi (durvalumab) resulted in significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival (OS) compared to Bayer’s disease Nexavar (sorafenib) as a first-line treatment for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), AstraZeneca said in a press release. The patients had not received prior systemic treatment and were not eligible for localized treatment.
Combining the two drugs every four weeks reduced the risk of death by 22%. Compared to Nexavar, the two drugs showed no increase in severe liver toxicity and fewer discontinuations due to treatment-related adverse events, according to AstraZeneca.
The study marks the first time that an anti-cytotoxic T cell-associated antigen (anti-CTLA4) antibody such as tremelimumab has been assayed in this novel way in a Phase 3 trial, Sunil Verma, senior vice president, global head of oncology, medical for AstraZeneca, said in an interview Managed Health Framework®.
The single, high priming dose is designed to boost the patient’s immune system against their liver cancer, with the aim of maximizing effectiveness and minimizing side effects.
“The HIMALAYA trial reinforces our science-based approach of adding tremelimumab to Imfinzi, harnessing the potential for CTLA-4 inhibition and a unique dosage regimen to prime the immune system, to help patients live longer and live better. manageable side effects,” Verma said.
New types of treatment are needed for liver cancer and HCC, the third
cause of cancer death and the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, according to AstraZeneca. Company officials are
Approximately 80,000 people in the United States, Europe, and Japan are diagnosed with advanced, unresectable HCC each year, and more than three times as many (260,000 people) are diagnosed in China. Only 7% of patients with advanced disease survive five years. HCC is the most common type of liver cancer, accounting for about 90% of cases. Hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infections are among the most common risk factors.
Nexavar is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which works by disrupting protein kinase signal transduction pathways through several modes of inhibition.
Nexavar has been shown to be effective as monotherapy. Results from the placebo-controlled SHARP study showed it was safe and effective as a first-line treatment for HCC patients with well-preserved liver function who were not eligible for surgical or locoregional treatments, according toMedicine of the future.
The drug was associated with a significantly increased median survival of 10.7 months compared to 7.9 months in patients receiving placebo, and progression-free survival was significantly longer.