Clinical trial aims to study immunotherapy for central nervous system tumors


A new clinical trial aims to determine whether nivolumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, can improve control of cancer for patients with several types of tumors of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is composed of the brain and spinal cord and the cause of most CNS tumors in adults is unknown. Although there are over 130 types of CNS tumors, they are very rare. Most are treated with surgery and radiation. Mark Gilbert, M.D., of the Neuro-Oncology Branch is leading this study to see if systemic therapy with nivolumab can control the growth of the cancer for patients whose rare CNS tumors have come back after initial treatment. Nivolumab blocks the action of a protein called PD-1 that naturally stops the body’s immune system from attacking tumor cells. Blocking PD-1 with this targeted therapy activates T cells to attack cancer cells without damaging normal cells. For more information about this trial, visit: https://ccr.cancer.gov/neuro-oncology-branch/mark-r-gilbert.

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Summary Posted: 08/2017