by Dr. C.H. Weaver M.D. 12/2019
The triplet regimen of the CXCR4 inhibitor BL-8040, Keytruda immunotherapy (pembrolizumab), plus chemotherapy demonstrated high response and disease control rates in patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, according to preliminary findings from the COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 trial.
BL-8040 is a novel small molecule high-affinity CXCR4 blocking agent. CXCR4 is a chemokine receptor that is overexpressed in pancreatic ductal carcinoma, as well as other human cancers. Research suggest it plays a key role in tumor growth, invasion, angiogenesis, metastasis, and resistance to therapy.
The COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 clinical trial was designed to evaluate two combinations of Keytruda immunotherapy with BL-8040. and liposomal Onivyde (irinotecan), leucovorin and fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy. To be included on the trial, patients had to be 18 years or older with metastatic unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm, and measurable disease that had progressed on initial therapy.
As of the September 30, 2019, cutoff date the combination therapy was evaluated and found to be well tolerated with no unexpected side effects. Overall 15 of the 22 patients treated were evaluable. Four partial responses were observed, and an additional 8 patients had stable disease. This led to a disease control rate in 12 of the 15 patients. The trial is ongoing.