February 12, 2022:

Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) investigators recently published results of clinical trial BTCRC-ESO14-012 in the notable Frontiers in Oncology journal. 

The publication titled, A Phase II Trial of Adjuvant Durvalumab Following Trimodality Therapy for Locally Advanced Esophageal and Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma: A Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Study, found adjuvant durvalumab in patients with residual disease in the surgical specimen following trimodality therapy (a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery) for locally advanced esophageal and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma led to clinically meaningful improvement in 1-year relapse free survival compared to the historical control rate. 

The usual treatment for esophageal cancer is to have chemotherapy plus radiation followed by surgery to remove part of the esophagus and regular checkups to make sure the cancer has not returned. The likelihood of reoccurrence is greater when residual cancer cells are found in the surgical sample.  

The primary objective of this study was to determine if postoperative adjuvant therapy with durvalumab improves 1-year relapse free survival (RFS) compared to historical rates in patients with persistent esophageal cancer following neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy and esophagectomy.  

Secondary objectives of this study were to assess the toxicity and tolerability of durvalumab following trimodality in patients with esophageal cancer and to assess the toxicity and tolerability of durvalumab following trimodality therapy in patients with esophageal cancer. Durvalumab is an antibody therapy. It attempts to turn off a cancer cell’s ability to grow and continue multiplying.

Other Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium sites included in the study were the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, University of Michigan Health System, Michigan State University, University of Illinois Cancer Center, and the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa.

Authors include Hirva Mamdani, Bryan Schneider, Susan M Perkins, Heather N Burney, Pashtoon Murtaza Kasi, Laith I Abushahin, Thomas Birdas, Kenneth Kesler, Tracy M Watkins, Sunil S Badve, Milan Radovich, Shadia I Jalal

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.