Caris Life Sciences, an innovator in molecular science, and the Lustgarten Foundation, a private funder of pancreatic cancer research, are collaborating to support a clinical trial evaluating the impact of immunotherapy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Caris is providing clinical trial enrollment services to identify potential trial candidates based on biomarker expression results and facilitate communication between treating physicians and study investigators. The Lustgarten Foundation is a sponsor of the study for pancreatic cancer patients in support of its mission to advance scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment and cure of pancreatic cancer.
While pancreatic cancer is an extremely challenging disease to treat, recent advances in immunotherapies are rapidly changing the way cancer is being treated. The study, "phase II Study of MK-3475 in Patients with Microsatellite Unstable (MSI) Tumors (NCT01876511)," is investigating whether MK-3475, an immunotherapy that blocks negative signals to T cells, is an effective anti-tumor activity agent for MSI-High tumors. The study is also measuring alternative biomarkers correlating to MSI status, including Mismatch Repair Proteins (MMR), MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2, among others.
"We are excited to collaborate with the Lustgarten Foundation and believe our comprehensive genomic and proteomic tumor profiling capabilities plus MI Trials services are uniquely positioned to enhance patient accrual in support of this important clinical study," said Dr. David Spetzler, president and chief scientific officer of Caris Life Sciences. "A growing amount of evidence linking Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and Mismatch Repair (MMR) pathway analysis to immunotherapy response is building and may provide a new treatment paradigm for pancreatic patients."
Caris' MI Trials services will identify MMR positive patients in real-time through the Caris Molecular Intelligence tumor profiling service, which has profiled more than 110,000 clinical cases to date and helps physicians and researchers more effectively evaluate therapy options and clinical trial opportunities. Upon positive biomarker expression status, MI Trials medical staff will facilitate communication between treating physicians and study investigators.
"This is incredibly important work that has the potential to profoundly impact the treatment of this terrible disease," said Kerri Kaplan, president and CEO of the Lustgarten Foundation. "We are fortunate to be working with a partner like Caris Life Sciences to ensure the best possible outcomes."