Hoag First Hospital in OC to Enroll Patients in NK Cell Therapy Clinical Trial for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients

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Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian announced that it has enrolled its first two patients in a clinical study evaluating “Natural Killer,” or NK, cell therapy in women with triple-negative breast cancer.

Hoag is the first and only site in Orange County enrolling patients in the study.

The phase1/b2 open-label study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of a combination of chemo-immunotherapy with “Trodelvy,” a low dose chemotherapy, in combination with Culver City-based ImmunityBio’s Anktiva receptor agonist, and NK cell therapy, a type of immunotherapy. Participants are triple negative breast cancer patients who have at least two prior treatments for metastatic disease. Treatment will continue for up to one year.

Cell therapy involves modifying immune cells to recognize – and kill – cancer. Hoag is involved in a variety of cell therapy trials evaluating “natural killer,” or NK cell therapy, which has proven to be beneficial in treating solid tumors.

“Metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients often have a poor prognosis and high cancer recurrence rates and short duration of responses with current therapy at an unacceptable high level of toxicity,” said Chaitali Nangia, M.D., Co-Director, NK Cell Therapy Research at Hoag Family Cancer Institute and principal investigator for the trial. “We are at the frontier of these novel combinatorial approaches with the use of ‘Natural Killer’ cells, which have the potential to work together with other agents to give durable and deep responses while maintaining patients’ quality of life.”

Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 10-15 percent of all breast cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Triple-negative breast cancer is more common among women under the age of 40, black women and those with the BRCA1 mutation.

Triple negative breast cancers are a more aggressive form of breast cancer and until recently have lacked specific targets for personalized therapy. Combinatorial chemo immunotherapeutics have started to fill those gaps and are now the backbone of a number of clinical trials designed to target these pathways.

“Hoag is committed to leading the way in advancing treatment options and improving health care by exploring the safety and efficacy of new drugs and therapies, including the promising area of immunotherapy and, in particular, evaluating the efficacy of NK cells in treating several types of challenging cancer,” said Burton Eisenberg, MD, Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair, Hoag Family Cancer Institute.

Hoag’s clinical trials are heavily supported by philanthropy, which provides the infrastructure to attract and support these advanced trials, including research nurses, data and trial coordinators, variant scientists and more.

Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers comprehensive clinical trials for all solid tumor cancers. For more information, visit www.hoag.org/cancer.

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