Innovative Immunotherapy Combo Tests IDO Inhibitor in Melanoma Trial


“Investigators are looking into a novel immunotherapy combination that pairs the first-in-class IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat (INCB024360) with the checkpoint blockade agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

“The phase III KEYNOTE-252/ECHO-301 trial, which is enrolling at more than 120 locations, will randomize 600 patients in a 1:1 ratio to either epacadostat combined with pembrolizumab or pembrolizumab plus placebo (NCT02752074).”

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Experimental Immunotherapy Promising for a Range of Cancers

Many kinds of tumors make an immune system-suppressing protein that is linked to more extensive disease and reduced survival. Now, a completed phase I trial suggests that an experimental drug that inhibits this protein could help people with a range of cancers that have not responded to other treatments. The protein is called oral indoleamine dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) and the drug that inhibits it is called INCB024360. The trial showed that this drug kept tumors from growing in 30% of the 52 people treated, half of whom had colorectal cancer, which has generally resisted immunotherapy. Moreover, this new drug had manageable side effects. These findings were presented at the 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Now, a phase I/II trial is underway to test treating melanoma with INCB024360, both alone and in combination with ipilimumab, another immunotherapy.