Response rates to immunotherapy remain unsatisfactorily low. Current approaches deliver these therapies systemically to patients with advanced disease. Concentrating immunotherapy where it is needed and when it is needed is preferable – particularly in the context of miniscule tumor burden. Like a vaccine, local administration can generate systemic immunity, leading to eradication of residual disease throughout the body. SURGE’s approach, which reprograms the body’s response to surgery from immunosuppressive to immunostimulatory, should become an essential part of a patient’s course of treatment.
Post-surgical cancer recurrence & metastasis are devastating
Relapse & metastasis account for 90% of cancer-related deaths
Predina, J. et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 110(5):E415-424, 2013
Horowitz, M. et al., Nat Rev Clin Oncol., 12(4):213-226, 2015
Krall, J.A. et al., Sci Transl Med., 10(436):eaan3464, 2018
Percentage of 700,000 annual domestic patients who recur post-surgery
Percentage of other companies focusing surgery-induced immune suppression
A need for Intraoperative Immunotherapy
Cancer immunotherapy can confer durable benefit, but the percentage of patients who respond to this approach remains modest. The ability to concentrate immunostimulatory compounds at the site of disease can overcome local immune tolerance and reduce systemic toxicity.
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to pioneers in the field of cancer immunotherapy, as the utility of leveraging a patient’s coordinated and adaptive immune system to fight the patient’s unique tumour has now been validated robustly in the clinic. Still, the proportion of patients who respond to immunotherapy remains modest (~15% objective response rate across indications), as tumours have multiple means of immune evasion.
SURGE’s immunotherapy hydrogel is an investigational drug and has not yet been approved for commercial use by the US FDA.