Prof Sandip Patel speaks to ecancer at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting about the DART study, which examined the administration of ipilimumab plus nivolumab to achieve dual checkpoint inhibition in a cohort of patients with rare neuroendocrine tumours.
Prof Patel reports that these patients experienced a 44 percent reduction in tumour size, compared with patients with lower, intermediate disease - who experienced a 0 percent rate of shrinkage.
Although it is unclear why patients with high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma benefitted from this study, Prof Patel points out that it may be attributed to a mutational burden; in which specimens are being assessed to understand the underlying tumour biology.
He also believes in the next three years, oncologists will be able to determine which rare tumour types display a sensitivity to immune checkpoint blockade - which may include high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma.
Read more about this research here.