Important Clinical Questions to Address in GI Cancers


Sumanta K. Pal, MD, explains what gastrointestinal cancer research needs to focus on in the near future.

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, a medical oncologist, professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, and co-director, Kidney Cancer Program at City of Hope, explains what gastrointestinal cancer (research needs to focus on in the near future.

Key clinical question in the gastrointestinal cancers field include how can efficacy be enhanced for immunotherapies, what are the ways to handle toxicity, and can patients tolerate the triplet and quadruplet regimens that are being explored currently?

Another important point for the future of gastrointestinal malignancies, is determining how to improve the quality of life for patients.


0:09 | I think the most pressing question to answer in the context of clinical trials is whether or not we can potentially do things to add to the efficacy of drugs like immunotherapy, which ostensibly have led to durable responses, more so than any other class of drugs before, but also mitigate the toxicity.

0:26 | I think now we're talking about going to triplet and quadruplet and quintuplet regimens, and at some point we're going to have to start wondering about whether or not patients can actually tolerate this panoply of agents. So, I think it's going to be critical for us to take a strong look at the regimens that we're using and determine whether or not we're actually going to be able to implement those in the clinic. And one strategy moving forward is to focus on the microbiome use agents like live bacterial products, we've explored a drug called CBM-588 to see whether or not you can use these very subtle additives to the patient's daily lifestyle and greatly enhance outcomes.

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