J. Andrew Livingston, MD, on Starting the Shift Toward Targeted Therapies in Sarcoma


The associate professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center discussed his future outlook and goals for the field of sarcoma.

“Targeting cancer testis antigens is really a unique opportunity. Although we used to think that these were highly expressed across many cancers, actually, as we come to learn more about specific cancer testis antigens like, NY-ESO, MAGE, and PRAME, we see they're particularly enriched in synovial sarcoma and myxoid round cell liposarcoma. So, for studies like this, when we're bringing a novel therapy forward, it's really important that we have the right patient population.And by focusing in on these really specific sarcoma subtypes, that's where we think we can have the most impact.”

MD Anderson and Syena are investigating the T-cell receptor natural killer (TCR NK) cell therapy NY-ESO-1 TCR/IL-15 NK in patients with advanced synovial sarcoma (SS) and myxoid/round cell liposarcoma (MRCL) in a first-in-human phase 1/1b trial. The FDA cleared the investigational new drug (IND) application for the therapy in June 2023.

CGTLive spoke with the study’s primary investigator J. Andrew Livingston, associate professor in the department of sarcoma medical oncology and the department of pediatrics patient care at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, to learn more about the landscape for treating sarcomas in the past couple of decades to today. He shared his thoughts that the field has been quite stagnant for a while but stands poised to start investigating and adapting more novel therapies. He emphasized how, moving forward, a big goal in the field is to treat sarcomas with targeted therapies to specific subtypes and biomarkers instead of generalized therapies. In order to achieve this, genetic testing and molecular subtyping must grow in the field as well.

MD Anderson and Replay announce FDA clearance of IND application for first-in-class TCR NK cell therapy for sarcoma. News release. MD Anderson. June 20, 2023. https://www.mdanderson.org/newsroom/novel-tcr-nk-cell-therapy-sarcoma-receives-ind-clearance-fda.h00-159619434.html
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