Immunotherapy Treatment for Advanced Neuroendocrine Cancer
Immuno-oncology (or immunotherapy) and precision medicine are the newest developments in the treatment of advanced cancer. Immuno-oncology helps to restore the body’s immune system and improves outcomes when administered alone or in combination with chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy is class of treatments that take advantage of a person’s own immune system to help kill cancer cells.
The targeted drugs used to treat pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) work by blocking angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that nourish cancers) or important proteins (called tyrosine kinases) in cancer cells that help them grow and survive.
Sunitinib (Sutent): Sunitinib blocks several tyrosine kinases and attacks new blood vessel growth. It has been shown to help slow tumor growth.
Everolimus (Afinitor): Everolimus blocks a protein known as mTOR, which normally helps cells grow and divide.
Belzutifan (Welireg): Belzutifan is a type of drug known as a HIF inhibitor. It blocks a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor 2 alpha (HIF-2a), which is involved in both cancer cell growth and the formation of new blood vessels in tumors.
In an attempt to improve the chance of cure, immunotherapies are being tested alone or in combination with chemotherapy in clinical trials.