Did you watch the IUIS Webinar : “What cancer immunologists are doing about COVID-19?” by Rachel Humphrey, a medical oncologist, who is currently serving as Head of Research and Development for TIO Bioventures.
Highlights from her talk include:
- Intersection in advances in cancer and infectious diseases immunology, could guide development of therapies against COVID-19
- Recently published review by Vardhana & Wolchok that “explores the contributions of the innate and adaptive immune systems to both viral control as well as toxicity during COVID-19 infections and offer suggestions to both understand and therapeutically modulate anti-COVID immunity”.
- Data that described successful of anti-PD-1 treatment (Pembrolizumab) against cancers including those in lung tissue, which could be used to treat COVID-19 symptoms. It should be noted that this treatment against cancer is not 100% successful, and more research is required to improve the success rate.
- One of the side effects associated with CAR-T cell therapy include cytokine release syndrome, which can be treated using IL-6 inhibitor (Tocilizumab). This symptomatic treatment of CRS was used treat COVID-19 in China, and is now approved for COVID-19 pneumonia in China. She did note differences in outcomes from anti-IL-6 treatment*
*Note: Exploratory and pre-specifiied analysis of “severe” and “critical” COVID-19 patients of a Phase 2/3 trial evaluating Kevzara® (sarilumab), an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody, had no notable benefit (of Kevzara) on clinical outcomes when combining the “severe” and “critical” groups, versus placebo. However, there were negative trends for most outcomes in the “severe” group. .