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At BTG, we are exploring the synergy between our locoregional therapies (LRT) And other immunotherapeutics to help drive patients’ own immune system to fight cancer. Some tumour types don’t respond to Immuno-Oncology drugs and for others, response rates are low. Therefore, the oncology community is looking for additional therapies to combine with these drugs to increase the number of patients who benefit. Through collaborative working, we are building evidence that LRTs, such as our ablation and embolisation products, offer great potential in combination with these drugs.
With a focus on Interventional Oncology, we are already using minimally invasive, LRT to treat cancer.
By combining our established product lines – which include cryoblation, radiotherapy microspheres, drug-eluting1 and embolisation beads, with Immuno-Oncology therapeutics – we hope that more patients will now benefit from Immuno-Oncology drugs such as check point inhibitors.
Karen Skinner, VP of Immuno-Oncology at BTG, commented in BioWorld Medtech: “The logical starting point for these combinations would be the disease areas where there is already a rationale for using these products, like the liver, or where our products are already approved. The research is still at an early stage, but the science might indicate new justifications for our products or suggest experimenting with combinations in different organs altogether.”
At BTG, we are investing in basic preclinical and clinical research to better understand the immune response to optimise the use of these LRTs in combination with other immunotherapeutics.
We have a partnership with the Society of Interventional Oncology (SIO), an organisation that works hard to nurture and support interventional oncology globally. They too working to understand the unmet needs in the field of Immuno-Oncology and explore the way in which interventional oncology may help.
To this end, SIO have established a working group which includes interventional radiologists and immuno-oncologists who are focused on pinpointing unmet clinical needs in this promising area of science.
Furthermore, BTG has provided an independent research fund, which means that SIO can now offer grant funding to investigators who can dive deeper into the unanswered questions that arise from this combination therapy approach.
After receiving such excellent research proposals when the first round of grant winners were announced at the 2017 World Congress of Interventional Oncology (WCIO), BTG and SIO decided to double the total amount of investigator funding available. We are committed to helping accelerate the pace of scientific advance in the combination of interventional oncology and immuno-oncology therapies.
Click here to learn more about the Interventional Oncology / Immuno-Oncology Research Grant Recipients.
The investigators and project proposals that have been awarded grants for 2018 are:
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Strategies to Modulate Liver Tumor Immune Microenvironment after Catheter-based Drug Delivery
University of Pennsylvania
Characterization of the Immunobiologic Response Following Transarterial Chemoembolization of HCC
Y90 Radioembolization Combined with Immune Checkpoint Blockade in an Animal Model of Hepatocellular
University of California, San Diego
Effects of Cryoablation on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cancer Stem Cells and the Immune Response
Ochsner Health System
Tumor-Induced Tolerance in Driving Embolization Resistance and Waitlist/Transplant Outcomes
The 2017 grant recipients were:
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois
Investigating the Immunobiology of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients Undergoing Y90 Radioembolization
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center T-Cell Clonality and Cancer Neoantigen
Presentation Following Interventional Oncology (IO) Therapies: Which IO Techniques Optimally Stimulate the Immune System?
Massachusetts General Hospital
A Pilot Study of Cryoablation Combined with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy in Patients with PD-1 Refractory Metastatic Melanoma: Prospective Clinical Research and Correlative Laboratory Studies
TAEVax: Immunobiologic Treatment Effects of Embolization in a Rat HCC Model
We are eager to support preclinical and clinical studies with BTG Interventional Oncology products in combination with immunotherapies in a range of tumour types and welcome proposals from investigators interested in conducting such research.
For example, we have approved funding of Investigator Initiator Studies (IISs) at Northwestern University and the Mayo Clinic:
Biomarker Analyses in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Patients Treated With TheraSphere®
Purpose: To analyse specific angiogenic, inflammatory and immune profiles in hepatocellular carcinoma patients who undergo radioembolisation
(Study open: NCT03203837)
Dendritic Cell Therapy, Cryosurgery, and Pembrolizumab in Treating Patients with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Purpose: This Phase I/II trial studies the best dose and side effects of dendritic cell therapy, cryosurgery and pembrolizumab in treating patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Vaccines, such as dendritic cell therapy made from a person's tumour cells and white blood cells may help the body build an effective immune response to kill tumour cells. Cryosurgery kills cancer cells by freezing them. Monoclonal antibodies, such as pembrolizumab, may interfere with the ability of tumour cells to grow and spread. Giving dendritic cell therapy, cryosurgery and pembrolizumab may work better at treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
(Study open: NCT03035331)
We are always interested to hear from like-minded research organisations who want to combine approaches and efforts in the area of Immuno-Oncology. We specialise in the local delivery of therapeutics and in interventional procedures for the treatment of cancer either alone or in combination. Please check out our Contact Us
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