Nivolumab (Opdivo) + Ipilimumab (Yervoy) for metastatic colorectal cancer patients with deficient DNA mismatch repair mechanism (dMMR) or high microsatellite instability (MSI-H)

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Indications: Colon cancer
Therapeutic Areas: Gastrointestinal Cancer
Year: 2017

Nivolumab and ipilimumab is a combination therapy to treat cancer of the large bowel (colon) or back passage (rectum) – these types of cancers (bowel and colon) are also known as colorectal cancer. Metastatic colorectal cancer occurs when the cancer has spread to another part of the body; this is most commonly to the liver. A small proportion of colorectal cancer cases develop due to deficiencies in a repair mechanism for DNA; this may contribute to an increase in potential faulty (mutated) DNA. A high rate of mutation is known as high microsatellite instability. These subsets of patients may have poorer outcomes which are worse than those observed in the overall metastatic colorectal cancer population.
The combination therapy of nivolumab and ipilimumab is currently being evaluated in phase II clinical trials. Treatment is administered via a drip directly into the bloodstream and works by altering the body’s immune response to the cancer. It is being developed to improve patient survival, and some studies suggest that the combination of these two drugs may offer a new treatment option for patients with advanced dMMR/MSI-H metastatic colorectal cancer that has returned or spread to another part of the body