Doctors at Hoag’s Neuro-Oncology Clinic will be the first in the country to study the success of an innovative treatment for brain cancer through a clinical trial announced Tuesday.
The immunotherapy treatment holds considerable promise for glioblastoma (GMB), the deadliest form of brain cancer, according to officials at the Hoag Family Cancer Institute and Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag, working in collaboration with Nascent Biotech, Inc. More than 20,000 new cases of GBM are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.
In this first national clinical trial, researchers will study the success of the drug Pritumumab, a monoclonal antibody that attacks cancers originating in the epithelial cells lining organs such as the brain. The study will be conducted by Hoag’s Neuro-Oncology Clinic.
“The trial is a natural fit for Hoag, which is devoted to compassionate patient-centric care, creative innovation and clinical excellence,” said Dr. Jose Carrillo, Hoag neuro-oncologist and principal investigator on the trial. “By offering our patients access to targeted immunotherapy, we expand our toolkit to include a treatment option that has the potential to turn the tables on brain cancer.”
He explained that targeted immunotherapy, unlike chemotherapy, fights only the cancer cells, without damaging healthy cells: “This has the potential to improve outcomes and help our patients beat cancer while minimizing the debilitating side effects normally associated with cancer treatment.”
Pritumumab works by targeting ectodomain vimentin, a protein expressed on the surface of epithelial cancers. Because vimentin is found in a variety of cancers, the clinical trial at Hoag could have implications for more common cancers, such as breast or lung, experts said.
“There are significant unmet medical needs in a variety of cancers,” said Sean Carrick, CEO of Nascent Biotech, makers of the immunotherapy treatment. “Nascent is committed to changing patient expectations and outcomes in one of the world’s most debilitating cancers and Hoag is a natural partner towards achieving this goal.”
For more information, visit www.hoag.org/clinicaltrials.
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