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John Theurer Cancer Center Participating in Early-Phase Study of Immunotherapy-Boosting Treatment

Hackensack University Medical CenterJohn Theurer Cancer CenterOncology

What you need to know

Investigators at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical are participating in a first-in-patients clinical trial assessing VE800, a novel bacteria-containing therapy, in combination with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab. Laboratory research has suggested that VE800 may enhance the effectiveness of drugs like nivolumab.

The phase I study will evaluate the safety and clinical activity of VE800 in combination with nivolumab in patients with advanced or metastatic melanoma, gastric/gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (esophagus/stomach cancer), or a type of colon cancer called microsatellite-stable colorectal cancer. The first results are anticipated in 2021.

Nivolumab belongs to the checkpoint inhibitors class of drugs which also include pembrolizumab and ipilimumab.

More details on the study

Based on their impressive activity, checkpoint inhibitors have been approved by the FDA and become part of the standard of care for more than 14 different types of cancer, including melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma.

VE800 is an investigational therapy made up of 11 “friendly” bacterial strains that act in concert to activate cytotoxic CD8+ T cells — immune cells which form the vanguard of the immune system’s response to tumors and a key driver of effective immunotherapies. In preclinical studies, VE800 enhanced the ability of these T cells to get into tumors, promoting the suppression of tumor growth and potentially enhancing survival.

For more information

Patients seeking additional information about this study and to inquire about enrollment should call 551-996-5855.