Immune System Intends To Fight Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Immune System Intends To Fight Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Hoag Offers Clinical Trial For Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Patients

The new combination immunotherapy therapy uses the body’s own immune system to fight off deadly cancer cells.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has been selected to conduct a Phase 2 clinical trial that researchers hope will demonstrate preliminary efficacy on pancreatic cancer.

Hoag will be the first in Orange County to offer cell therapy for solid tumors, and was exclusively selected as the only hospital in Orange County to offer this pancreatic cancer trial as part of its new cell therapy program. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with an average five-year survival rate of just 10%. The new combination immunotherapy therapy uses the body’s own immune system to fight off deadly cancer cells.

This type of immunotherapy, also known as “cell therapy”, harnesses the body’s own immune system to target, kill and “remember” cancer cells. The agents involved in this pancreatic cancer clinical trial have been “designed” to find pancreatic cancer cells and initiate a large immune response against them. This may allow the body to develop its own antibodies to fight the cancer.

The treatment involves combining standard-of-care chemotherapy with investigational therapies, including cell therapy company NantKwest’s tumor-targeted natural killer cells, PD-L1 t-haNK; ImmunityBio’s superagonist, N-803, and the drug aldoxorubicin HCI. The trial will compare the results of the combination therapy against the use of chemotherapy alone in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.

“This unique approach to orchestrating the innate and adaptive immune systems to target and kill cancer cells may be an important new approach for pancreatic cancer patients,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NantKwest and ImmunityBio. “We are excited to collaborate with Hoag to offer this investigational approach to more patients who suffer from pancreatic cancer.”

Hoag’s commitment to innovation and excellence has earned the hospital a reputation as an effective partner for these investigational new therapies on-par with leading academic centers.

“For many patients, especially those with advanced cancers, a clinical trial can offer a more effective treatment option than standard therapy,” Dr. Eisenberg said. “Hoag continues to relentlessly pursue innovative treatment options and leading-edge medical advances to deliver a level of care that is truly personalized medicine.”

For more information please email clinicalresearch@hoag.org or call 949-764-4577.


Hoag is a nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 30,000 inpatients and 480,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals – Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which opened in 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010 – in addition to nine health centers and 13 urgent care centers. Hoag has invested $261 million in programs and services to support the underserved community within the past five years, including areas like mental health, homelessness, transportation for seniors, education, and support for single mothers.


As the largest cancer program in Southern California outside of Los Angeles County, Hoag Family Cancer Institute treats more than 4,000 new patients and 18,000 total patients annually. Hoag’s multidisciplinary cancer team orchestrates subspecialized, tumor-specific programs that provide leading edge cancer treatments and a full range of advanced cancer therapies, as well as Hoag’s Precision Medicine Program and new investigational treatments. Hoag Family Cancer Institute formed an alliance with USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center to become the first community hospital in Orange County to offer patients access to Early Development Clinical Trials. Hoag also offers patients access to a Cancer Prevention, High Risk & Early Detection Network to educate, screen and implement best practices for preventing the onset of cancer.