In This Video

Watch Ashkan Emadi, MD, PhD, discuss a promising checkpoint inhibitor called indoximod that could leave patients with dramatically lower levels of residual disease than standard chemotherapy alone in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Dr. Emadi, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a hematologist/oncologist with the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC), is the PI for an investigator-initiated phase I/II clinical trial (NCT02835729) for patients who have been newly diagnosed with AML.

By taking down the indoleamine-(2,3)-dioxygenase (ID0) defense that cancer cells use to evade the immune system, indoximod is demonstrating in solid tumor trials that it can increase the efficacy of chemotherapy, radiation and other checkpoint inhibitors. This is the first time the drug is being used to treat leukemia.

"We used to think of cancer as a genetic disease," says Dr. Emadi, "but cancer happens as a disease of the host, because our immune system doesn't recognize the cancer cell as a foreigner."

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