Expert Point of View: M. Boyd Gillespie, MD, MSCR

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“This study is actually surprising to me, because earlier studies of that particular antibody as a single therapy for this disease, salivary duct carcinoma, showed it was not very effective, with only 10% to 15% response rates,” session co-moderator, M. Boyd Gillespie, MD, MSCR, Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Outreach at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, commented in an interview.

“So my question is, how much of it was due to docetaxel alone?” Dr. Gillespie elaborated: “It would be helpful to have an arm of the trial where that chemo is studied alone, as compared to the combination therapy, just to make sure the true effect is from the combination and not from the one drug predominantly.”

Although monoclonal antibodies are increasingly being used in oncology, they are costly, according to Dr. Gillespie. “So we need to make sure that we are using them appropriately and that they offer significant advantages over either traditional therapies or less expensive chemotherapeutic drugs.”

The trial is still ongoing, he noted. “Certainly, we won’t make any conclusions as to whether this is a good treatment regimen until we see the final results,” concluded Dr. Gillespie. ■

Disclosure: Dr. Gillespie reported no potential conflicts of interest.

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