Advancing Progress in the Development of Combination Cancer Therapies with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Proceedings of a Workshop


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in the clinical development and use of immunotherapy for cancer treatment. Immune checkpoint inhibitors—one type of immunotherapy—have changed the standard of care for many different types cancer and spurred a great deal of new drug development activity. However, immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies are often not curative, and there are many types of cancer for which they have not yet been effective. Consequently, there is strong interest in combining checkpoint inhibitors with other cancer therapies to improve efficacy and patient outcomes.

In July 2018, the National Cancer Policy Forum convened a workshop to examine challenges and opportunities in developing combination cancer therapies that include immune checkpoint inhibitors. Presentations and panel discussions examined a number of factors influencing combination therapy development, including:

  • Strategies to select combinations for testing;
  • The role of biomarkers;
  • Strategies to improve clinical trial design;
  • Regulatory challenges and opportunities; and
  • The use of data sharing and real-world evidence.

This workshop proceedings highlights suggestions from individual participants to improve the development of combination cancer therapies with immune checkpoint inhibitors.