Newswise — FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) has awarded three grants to investigators to support research of bavituximab in combination with other therapeutic strategies in glioblastoma, head and neck, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
”NCCN is excited to initiate three studies by accomplished investigators at Member Institutions that will explore the effect of this novel immunotherapy in three different cancers with significant unmet need,” said Robert C. Young, MD, Interim Vice President, NCCN ORP.
The following researchers received funding: • Jessica Frakes, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center, “A Phase I Trial of Sorafenib and Bavituximab Plus Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for Unresectable Hepatitis C Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma”• Elizabeth Gerstner, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, “Phase I/II Clinical Trial of Bavituximab with Radiation and Temozolomide for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma” • Ranee Mehra, MD, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, “Phase II Study of Pembrolizumab and Bavituximab for Progressive Recurrent/Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck”
“We’d like to extend our congratulations to the three investigators who were selected for their unique and innovative concepts. These studies align with our development strategy for bavituximab, which is currently focused on small, early stage clinical trials evaluating the drug in combination with other cancer treatments. Collaborators such as NCCN play a central role in this strategy and we look forward to integrating the valuable clinical data generated by these investigators to expand our knowledge regarding bavituximab-focused cancer treatment combinations,” said Joseph Shan, MPH, Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Perergine.
Bavituximab is an investigational immunotherapy designed to assist the body's immune system by targeting and modulating the activity of phosphatidylserine (PS), a highly immune-suppressive signaling molecule expressed broadly on the surface of cells in the tumor microenvironment. Peregrine’s PS targeted inhibitor, bavituximab, is thought to reverse the immunosuppressive environment that many tumors establish in order to proliferate and spread, while also fighting cancer by activating immune cells that target and fight cancer. According to Peregrine, a broad set of pre-clinical and translational data has been generated that supports the ability of bavituximab to improve the therapeutic activity of a range of cancer treatments, from traditional approaches, such as chemotherapy and radiation, to novel immuno-oncology agents such as checkpoint inhibitors.
The awardees responded to a Request for Proposals issued by ORP to the NCCN Member Institutions and their affiliate hospitals. Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Bavituximab Scientific Review Committee. The funded concepts were selected based on several criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the efficacy of bavituximab.
NCCN ORP draws on the expertise of investigators from NCCN Member Institutions and their affiliated hospitals to facilitate all phases of clinical research. The research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer.
For more information about NCCN ORP, visit NCCN.org/ORP. ###About the National Comprehensive Cancer NetworkThe National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.
The NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.
 Yin Y, Huang X, Lynn KD, Thorpe PE. Phosphatidylserine-targeting antibody induces M1 macrophage polarization and promotes myeloid-derived suppressor cell differentiation. Cancer immunology research 2013 Oct; 1(4): 256-268.