Marjorie Zauderer, MD, on New Immunotherapy Approaches

November 15, 2019

Marjorie Zauderer, MD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discussed new immunotherapy approaches at the 34th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2019).

Marjorie Zauderer, MD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discussed new immunotherapy approaches at the 34th Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2019).

 

Transcription:

I’ve been seeing a lot of new immunotherapy approaches, as well as some critical reassessments of existing approaches and how to better refine them.

I think it’s exciting because you don’t too often see people talking about how to derive the same benefit from less intensive therapy, and I think it’s an interesting time and space to be in for oncology for that reason.

I think it means we may start to figure out when we can stop immunotherapy. I think the question’s always been, when we have people with these phenomenal responses who are ostensibly cured from their disease, we’re always afraid to stop the drug. We don’t know how much is enough. And I would say these people aren’t really cured until we’ve actually stopped the therapy too. So, figuring out when we can do that safely and maintain the same outcomes, I think will transform the lives of those people. 

Oh, I think 5 years will look totally different. In addition to all of the immunotherapy drugs, I think cellular therapies will take a more prominent role in the treatment of a variety of diseases. 

You know, there’s already cell therapies in all the common cancers – lung cancer, sarcoma, mesothelioma, ovarian – I think if any target (a mutation), somebody out there is building something to go after it.

You know, I’m very interested in novel immunotherapies for mesothelioma and that takes the form of a couple different approaches. We have a big T-cell CAR program targeting mesothelin, which is very active. And I’m also involved in the development of TCR’s for other targets and thoracic malignancies. I’m very excited about the future for all of those treatments.