This week in therapeutics




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HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu); PD-1 receptor (PDCD1; PD-1; CD279)

Mouse studies suggest inhibiting PD-1 could enhance the antitumor effects of HER2 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies. In HER2 transgenic mice with HER2+ sarcoma or breast carcinoma tumors, HER2-targeting CAR T cells plus an anti-PD-1 antibody decreased tumor growth and increased long-term survival compared with HER2 CAR T cells or anti-PD-1 antibody alone, and the combination did not induce autoimmunity. In the mice receiving the combination therapy, the enhanced antitumor effects were attributed to increased function of the HER2 CAR T cells and decreased tumor infiltration of myeloid-derived suppressors. Next steps could include testing the combination therapy in clinical trials.
At least six companies have PD-1 antibodies to treat several cancer indications in development stages from preclinical to Phase III.

SciBX 6(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1285
Published online Nov. 21, 2013

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John, L.B. et al. Clin. Cancer Res.; published online July 19, 2013;
Contact: Phillip K. Darcy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre,
East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia