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Benefitting From Immunotherapy in CRC

Pashtoon M. Kasi, MD, MBBS, MS
Published Online:9:27 PM, Tue March 26, 2019

Pashtoon M. Kasi, MD, MBBS, MS, an assistant professor of oncology and senior associate consultant in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, discusses the populations of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) that are likely to benefit from immunotherapy treatment.

Previously, immunotherapy was not an option for patients with CRC, but now subsets of patients has been identified that respond to this type of treatment, Kasi says. Patients who can benefit from immunotherapy include patients with mismatch repair deficient, microsatellite instability-high, or Lynch syndrome-associated CRC.

For a subset of patients with metastatic CRC, immunotherapy agents such as anti-PD-1 inhibitors and the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) have been approved by the FDA. Kasi explains that while this is not the majority of patients with CRC, all patients should be checked for these biomarkers as immunotherapy can be a very viable option.
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