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    I heard that Bavituximab may be “the next big thing” in immunotherapy, have you heard more about this? Is anyone here in a trial?

    They just announced that combining current immunotherapy with this new medicine has “significantly better” results:



    Catherine Poole

    I have sent this to our scientific board. I’m not sure about the significance yet. It talked about being preclinical yet mentioned a phase III trial, so that is contradictory. It also mentioned a local response not systemic. So hope to learn more and thanks for sharing!! This is the wave of future hope in these therapies.

    Keith Flaherty

    Bavituximad is not clearly superior to other therapeutic attempts to target the same types of immune “suppressor” cells. the press releases poorly written with regard to what exactly is happening regarding clinical trials. I happen to be in the conference at which that data is being presented and it’s not generating a lot of buzz here.

    Keith T Flaherty, M.D.

    Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

    Boston, MA


    Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for checking. The other medicine I hear more and more about is: LIRILUMAB: http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/trial/12-224 and has trials ongoing with Nivo.

    Could you please check on that one as well? :)



    Now see the reply on the original topic. Thanks for reaching out for info Catherine & Dr. Flaherty for answering!


    I think that it is really awesome of Dr. Flaherty to post here directly in an effort to keep us (the patients) informed. Thanks Dr. Flaherty!

    Catherine Poole

    I will see what I can find out with the other therapy Rick. Matt, Dr. Flaherty is our scientific board member and helped us start this forum, his idea to have the different stages etc. He’s been a great friend to MIF and we saw more of him when he was at Penn.


    Great to hear about all the research that is being done..so encouraging..my husband just started a trial with ipi and an angiogenesis inhibitor (Avastin)…it is a Phase II trial – we haven’t been able to get a lot of info on how the Phase 1 trail went as no published reports as of yet so if anyone has any feedback, please share. We have been told the Phase 1 was very “promising” and we await any published results but in the meantime are forging ahead. Angiogenesis inhibitors serve to cut off the blood supply to tumors which inhibits their growth and used routinely in other cancers. The research of combining this treatment with ipi is ongoing in melanoma..will keep you posted on how it goes…


    jawillett: I did a quick search and Avastin is the trade name for Bevacizumab. Here is some more information about the combination therapy:


    If I understand correctly, VEGF promotes new blood vessel formation and growth and helps the tumor grow. Patients with high VEGF have been observed to have a poor response to Ipi. Hence, the researchers add Avastin to inhibit VEGF.



    I’m just wondering, will the Avastin be given independent of VEGF level and response to Ipi? I’m just thinking that if there is a good response to Ipi, would Avastin really be necessary? I don’t have any deeper knowledge in the topic so please just take it as a layperson’s question.

    All the best to you and your husband!


    Thank you so much for attaching those important articles…as far as I know, while they are testing blood before each infusion, they have not looked at VEGF levels when deciding who gets just ipi and who gets ipi plus Avastin…those are the 2 groups in the study..I am actually thankful that my husband was put in the group with both drugs (even though potential for “double” side effects) because I am happy to have him potentially benefit from an immunotherapy and a targeted therapy. I am going to ask them at the next appointment about whether or not they have tested his VEGF level but it does not seem to appear on his lab report that we have a copy of…the research on angiogenesis inhibitors and their role in melanoma seems to have gone back a few years now but the combination with ipi is a more recent study and according to his Drs, showing positive results after Phase I…the idea of using a drug that inhibits tumor growth along with the ipi seems logical but time will tell…


    Rick, Catherine, I’m curious if the scientific board has anything to say about the nivo/Lirilumab combo for melanoma. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t. I’m in the phase 1b melanoma cohort which has 16 slots total (plus 5 additional 16-member cohorts for other cancer types). I’m sure that size makes it hard to give any sense of the combo’s particular efficacy. For myself, so far I’m not sure if nivo (+ lirilumab) is generating a response, although I’ve stayed within RECIST “stable” since I began in March.

    – Kyle

    Catherine Poole

    Kyle, thanks for bringing this up. I have inquired about this and haven’t had anything definitive come out of it. We do know that PD1 (either Merck or BMS) is the most promising agent and I would bank on that. We need more data from that trial, but I’m happy you are doing well!


    Hi all,

    Here yet another development in the melanoma field:


    So summarizing what seems to be promising are:

    – Bavituximab (immuno theraphy)

    – Bevacizumab/Avastin (angiogenesis inhibitor, VEGF targeter)

    – Lirilumab (anti-KIR: killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors)

    – Anti-angiogenic therapies: http://www.medicaldaily.com/scientists-discover-new-melanoma-cell-subpopulation-blame-drug-resistant-tumors-307654

    – PV-10 (Intralesional)

    Good to keep following these!


    Rick, you might find this article, ‘Pathways and therapeutic targets in melanoma’ interesting. Scroll down to the ‘Immunomodulatory antibodies’ section. I probably found it when I was searching for anti-OX40, one of the possibly emerging immune treatments that my oncologist’s cancer center has been involved with.

    I had trouble pasting the link in. It’s between the two

    ” class=”bbcode_url”>’s.



    Thanks for sharing!

    One more surprising route I heard about the radio recently…. ALPACA immunity boosters. I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me if Merck hadn’t just signed a licensing deal with this Belgian/Dutch company: http://www.google.com/url?url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6b5d31fe-8bf5-11e3-bcf2-00144feab7de.html&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ei=hUlTVI-THISE7gbO94HQDw&ved=0CBQQFjAA&sig2=681Eyu9x2j2bsqldkPtS_Q&usg=AFQjCNEhZnAn0RDVw-fVDC6H8VMoY6Yyqg :)

    They explained in the show that some lab researcher by accident found that alpacas have extremely well developed immune systems. And that if you place a human cancer cell into the alpaca, the cancer cell gets destroyed while the alpaca is not harmed. If only we could have that immune system, right?! So that’s what’s this company is exploring….

    Catherine Poole

    Oh but to be an alpaca! Be sure to take all studies with a grain of salt. check to see who paid for the study and whether the investigator has a relationship with the manufacturer or pharma. Also, regarding the intralesional therapies, PV10 has had some issues. These therapies are most promising in combination with other therapies. Phase III, lots of data and study subjects will be the most convincing to prove a therapy. I’m keeping my eye on PDL and its potential especially in combination with PD1.

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