During her PhD research one group of patients was treated with a drug that would otherwise not be available to them: nivolumab. A total of 30 patients with advanced stages of 8 different tumor types received this immunotherapy after they had their tumor DNA sequenced. The one thing their tumors had in common was a part of their molecular profile, called microsatellite instability. 20 out of 30 patients had clinical benefit from nivolumab, showing either stabilization or reduction of tumor burden. Negotiations with the Dutch health authorities are ongoing to ensure patients with this molecular profile will gain access to the drug.
So far, almost 300 patients with various tumor types have started study treatment in one of the 89 cohorts that have been opened. In each cohort, one of the 18 available study treatments is tested in a specific patient subgroup. Van der Velden: "The potential of the DRUP-study is huge. We offer patients with no (suitable) treatment options access to potentially active and approved drugs. At the same time we gather a large amount of valuable information to help us improve targeted therapy for future patients."
The DRUP study (Drug Rediscovery Protocol) is executed on behalf of the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment (CPCT), in which Dutch hospitals and Hartwig Medical Foundation join forces to realize personalized cancer treatment for every patient based on the genetic properties of their tumor. Study coordinator Emile Voest from the Netherlands Cancer Institute leads the study together with Henk Verheul (Amsterdam UMC/Vumc) and Hans Gelderblom (LUMC).
Read more about the DRUP study (Dutch) and CPCT.
Treatment: nivolumab (immunotherapy)
For whom: patients with microsatellite instable tumors
Wanneer: this part of the DRUP-study is closed