Tanezumab is in clinical development for the treatment of adults with cancer pain due to bone metastasis. Pain is an uncomfortable, unpleasant physical feeling. It usually happens when subjects have an injury or illness. Pain is common in cancer patients, particularly in the advanced stage of disease when the prevalence is estimated to be more than 70%, contributing to poor physical and emotional well-being. Most cancer pain is caused by the tumour pressing on bones, nerves or other organs in the body. Cancer can spread into the bone and cause pain by damaging the bone tissue. Cancer pain due to bone metastasis can be difficult to manage and current treatment with opioids have a risk for of addiction, misuse or dependence.
Tanezumab is an investigational humanized monoclonal antibody, that works by selectively targeting, binding to and inhibiting nerve growth factor (NGF), a known mediator of pain signalling, which is known to be elevated in chronic pain states. By tightly binding NGF, tanezumab prevents interaction between NGF and its receptors, thereby disrupting ongoing pain signalling. As an NGF-inhibitor, tanezumab has a novel mechanism that acts in a different manner compared to opioids and analgesics’, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Tanezumab is not centrally-acting and has no evidence of addiction. If licensed, tanezumab will offer an additional treatment option for patients with cancer pain due to bone metastasis.
Pembrolizumab is an immunomodulatory medicinal product, meaning that it helps the immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells. It is administered by intravenous infusion and is currently licensed in the UK for melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer and urothelial cancer – amongst others. If licensed, pembrolizumab, in addition to chemotherapy, would offer an alternative treatment for those with advanced, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer.