Tislelizumab for oesophageal cancer – second line

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Indications: Oesophageal cancer
Therapeutic Areas: Head and Neck Cancer
Year: 2021

Tislelizumab is being developed for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after prior systemic therapy. Advanced or metastatic ESCC begins in the food pipe and spreads to other parts of the body. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, persistent indigestion or heartburn, weight loss, pain in the throat, and chronic cough. Advanced or metastatic cancer cannot usually be cured and current treatment with chemotherapy aims to control the disease, relieve symptoms, and give patients a better quality of life. There is a need for new treatment options, including immunotherapies, as ESCC progresses rapidly and has high mortality.
Tislelizumab is a protein that has been designed to recognise and block a target called PD-1 found on certain cells of the immune system. It is administered intravenously. Some cancers make a protein that attaches to PD-1 and switches off the immune cells’ ability to attack the cancer. By blocking PD-1, tislelizumab stops the cancer switching off these immune cells, thereby increasing the immune system’s ability to kill the cancer cells. If licenced, tislelizumab will provide a second-line treatment for patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic ESCC.