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Expert Point of View: Namrata Vijayvergia, MD


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Namrata Vijayvergia, MD

Namrata Vijayvergia, MD

NAMRATA VIJAYVERGIA, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, commented on this study. “This is an important study because it is done in a rare tumor type; not a lot of clinical trials are conducted in this disease. Recently, three other studies of single-agent therapy with checkpoint inhibitors [pembrolizumab in two studies and spartalizumab in one study] in high-grade extrapulmonary neuroendocrine tumors were reported. They had negative results, showing limited efficacy,” she said.

“It is refreshing that we see a benefit here with dual immunotherapy agents. Single-agent immunotherapy has no role in treating this disease, but it appears that combination therapy may have some future. This needs to be studied and compared with standard-of-care chemotherapy, which, by the way, is not a very good standard,” Dr. Vijayvergia continued.

Twenty-six of the tumors in the study were nonlung tumors. “We know that small cell lung cancer [SCLC] behaves like neuroendocrine disease, and immunotherapy is approved for the treatment of SCLC. So it is exciting that the dual combination of immunotherapy agents appears to be effective in nonlung high-grade tumors,” she said.

DISCLOSURE: Dr. Vijayvergia has received research support from Merck and consultant fees from Novartis.


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