What value might small cell lung cancer (SCLC) clinical trial participation and the DeLLphi study offer patients? Expert Dr. Vinicius Ernani from the Mayo Clinic explains the significance of clinical trial participation and what is being studied in the DeLLphi trial for SCLC care.
“…always ask your team about clinical trials. And again, I recommend patients, if it’s a reasonable clinical trial, I will always recommend my patients to be enrolled in it.”
Dr. Ernani, can you speak to the importance of expression of DLL3, what it is and what it means for small cell lung cancer research, and why is clinical trial participation so important in small cell lung cancer? And what advice do you have for patients who are considering a clinical trial?
Dr. Vinicius Ernani:
Yeah, so DLL3 is a protein expressed on the cancer cell of the majority of those patients with small cell lung cancer. And that’s where, exactly where tarlatamab, which is, it’s the BiTE, the T-cell engager that I mentioned before, that’s one of the targets. So the tarlatamab, it binds to the DLL3 on the surface of the cancer cell, and also bind to the CD3 at the T cell, right?
So that activation, the tarlatamab does that bridge and that activation enhances or activates the T cells to go there and fight the cancer. What we’ve seen in DeLLphi study with the tarlatamab is that the responses are irrespective of the DLL3 expression. But that being said, again, is the target of tarlatamab. And so it, again, it binds to the DLL3 the cancer cell, and it binds to the CD3 on the T cell.
And that activation enhances the T cell to fight against the cancer. Why is clinical trial participation so important in small cell? Well, I think I encourage all my patients to participate in clinical trials because some of the treatments that you can only get in clinical trials today, they might become the standard of care tomorrow.
Let’s say patients on immunotherapy five years ago, there are still some patients that are on trial, they’re still getting immunotherapy. And now, basically every disease you can treat the patients with immunotherapy. So you never know. The trial that you are enrolled in today might be the new standard of care tomorrow, and you might be having this chance to get it very early in the course of your disease.
So my activation tip for this question is, always ask your team about clinical trials. And again, I recommend patients, if it’s a reasonable clinical trial, I will always recommend my patients to be enrolled in it.
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