Last updated on September 2017

A Phase II Trial of Ipilimumab and Nivolumab for the Treatment of Rare Cancers


Brief description of study

The three tumour streams that will be studied in this protocol are: (i) upper GI malignancies (comprising intra-hepatic/extra-hepatic cholangiocarcinomas,gall bladder cancers and duodenal cancers).); (ii) neuroendocrine tumours (inc. Pancreatic, bronchial and intestinal carcinoid tumours) and (iii) rare gynaecological tumours (including but will not be limited to: vaginal or vulval carcinomas, clear cell carcinoma of the ovary, low grade serous ovarian cancer, mixed mullarian tumours (carcinosarcoma), sarcomas of the female genital tract and granulosa cell tumours). The role of immunotherapy is being defined in more common cancer types, however because of their rarity, the efficacy of immunotherapy for these cancers is poorly defined. This protocol provides an important opportunity to establish whether the combination of nivolumab & ipilimumab has efficacy in these cancers.

Detailed Study Description

This is a phase 2 clinical trial of nivolumab combined with ipilimumab in subjects with rare cancers. This study will allow an evaluation of the clinical benefit, as measured by progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), provided by nivolumab combined with ipilimumab. If the safety profile is acceptable and clinically efficacy is seen, this study would support the use of nivolumab combined with ipilimumab in subjects with these cancers. Study Rationale Clinically advanced rare cancers pose a significant clinical challenge because evidence based treatments are seldom available for patients suffering from these malignancies. Despite little evidence that shows clinical benefit, these patients are often treated with chemotherapeutic agents that are used in patients with more common malignancies that arise from the same anatomical site. Furthermore, because of small numbers, they are often excluded from clinical trials with newer agents. The rare care project has defined a rare malignancy as a cancer with an incidence of less than 6/100000/year. It is estimated that 42,000 people are diagnosed with a form of rare or less common cancer in Australia every year (www.canceraustralia.gov.au). The cancer specific survival of patients diagnosed with a rare malignancy is significantly lower than with common cancers highlighting the need to improve management and treatment of these patients. Given the recent success of cancer immunotherapy with checkpoint regulators such as ipilimumab and nivolumab in a whole range of different cancer types, it can be postulated that these agents could be beneficial in rare cancers and improve the overall outlook of patients with these conditions. It is proposed here that patient cohorts which fall within three distinct tumour streams will be examined, with all patients receiving ipilimumab and nivolumab as combination immunotherapy. The three tumour streams are defined as: upper GI malignancies (comprising intra-hepatic/ extra-hepatic cholangiocarcinomas,gall bladder cancers and duodenal cancers).); neuroendocrine tumours (inc. Pancreatic, bronchial and intestinal carcinoid tumours) and rare gynaecological tumours (including but will not be limited to: vaginal or vulval carcinomas, clear cell carcinoma of the ovary, low grade serous ovarian cancer, mixed mullarian tumours (carcinosarcoma), sarcomas of the female genital tract and granulosa cell tumours). Although overall response rates for individual tumour types will not be established due to sample size (target 20 patients per tumour stream, n=60 total), descriptive information of individual patient responses will guide immune-directed therapies to responsive rare tumour types and may be broadened to tumour streams.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02923934

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Thomas John, MBBS, PhD

Austin Health
Heidelberg, Australia
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