Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month: 2021 Immunotherapy Research Updates

On March 22, the U.S. FDA approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in combination with chemotherapy for patients with advanced esophageal or gastroesophageal (GEJ) carcinoma who are not candidates for other treatments. This is the second approval for pembrolizumab for patients with esophageal and GEJ cancers.

This April for Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, we look at new research, new treatments, and how we’re working toward a future immune to esophageal cancer.

Esophageal Cancer Patient

DorothyWhen Dorothy learned she had stage 3 esophageal cancer, her oncologist recommended a clinical trial combining chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. In six months, a biopsy revealed that she was cancer-free. She has since completed her novel, Dance Till You Drop: A George Balanchine Mystery.


Scientist Spotlight

Ping Chih HoSolid tumors often have microenvironments that suppress the activity of the immune system. CRI Lloyd J. Old STAR Ping-Chih Ho, PhD, aims to decipher how tumor cells create an immunosuppressive environment via metabolic crosstalk between the tumor and neighboring cells.

Discover PING-CHIH’s cancer research

Immunotherapy for Esophageal Cancer
Information Updated

In addition to March’s FDA approval above, there are several other indications for which pembrolizumab is approved for the treatment of esophageal cancer. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is also approved for a subset of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. As the research and treatment landscape evolves, we keep our information up to date.

VIEW Esophageal Cancer UPDATE

Find an Esophageal Cancer Clinical Trial

A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. Help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs. Discover trials for which you or a loved one may be eligible with the CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder.

FIND A Cancer Clinical TRIAL

Support Esophageal Cancer Research

CRI Fellow Chan-Wang J. Lio, PhD, and team at La Jolla Institute for Immunology found that a tumor-suppressor enzyme called DAPK3 is an essential component of a multi-protein system that senses misplaced genetic material in tumor cells. This enzyme slows tumor growth by activating the STING pathway, which is critical to generating a cancer-fighting immune response. This Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.

DONATE to esophageal cancer research

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