A little about MK-3475. It is an antibody. Antibodies are proteins that the immune system uses to fight infection.It has been designed to block PD-1.PD-1 is a molecule that shuts the immune response to infection or a cancer cell. So..an antibody to PD-1 stops it from turning off an immune response.This treatment stimulates the immune system to fight the cancer on its own.
This is the future of cancer treatments.Instead of killing all your cells like chemo, this antibody stimulates your body to fight.The reason Mike is eligible for this study is because he has what is called a Microsatellite Unstable Tumor(MSI). Mike has a genetic condition called Lynch Syndrome.People with lynch have a predisposition to cancer,because they are missing one of two DNA repair genes.We have 2 repair genes that fix DNA strands.When we had the genetic testing this past fall,they discovered the Lynch. It explained to Mike why he had cancer originally at age 30,and now again. So,altho he has Bile Duct Cancer,it really isn’t bile duct cancer.It is just presenting in the bile ducts.The specific DNA marker that is in his DNA responds very well to MK-3475.So, altho these experimental trials are usually targeting melanoma or lung cancer patients-the lynch syndrome,and genetic counseling make him eligible!!