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Hoag is First in Nation to Test Innovative Antibody Brain Cancer Drug

Categories: Press Room

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF., May 19, 2020 --- Hoag Family Cancer Institute and Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag, in collaboration with Nascent Biotech, Inc announced today a first in the nation clinical trial for a novel immunotherapy treatment that holds considerable promise for glioblastoma (GBM), the deadliest form of brain cancer.

Pritumumab is a unique monoclonal antibody that attacks cancers originating in the cells lining an organ – referred to as epithelial cells. These include cancers of the brain, breast, colon and pancreas, as well as melanoma. Prior Phase I and II clinical trials in Japan focused on the treatment of high-grade gliomas including GBM.

This Phase I clinical trial leverages the Hoag Family Cancer Institute and Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute’s assets in their collaboration when treating all aspects of brain tumors. With more than 20,000 new cases of GBM diagnosed in the U.S. every year, Hoag’s infrastructure in its Center for Research Education, as well as Hoag’s neurosciences and cancer expertise and reputation appealed to Nascent Biotech as they chose a national site.

The study will be conducted by Hoag’s Neuro-Oncology Clinic that helps guide the entire continuum of comprehensive care for patients with brain tumors.

“The trial is a natural fit for Hoag, which is devoted to compassionate patient-centric care, creative innovation, and clinical excellence,” said Jose Carrillo, M.D., Hoag neuro-oncologist and principal investigator on the trial. “By offering our patients access to targeted immunotherapy, we expand our toolkit to include a treatment option that has the potential to turn the tables on brain cancer.”

“Targeted immunotherapy, unlike chemotherapy, fights only the cancer cells, without damaging healthy cells. This has the potential to improve outcomes and help our patients beat cancer while minimizing the debilitating side effects normally associated with cancer treatment,” added Dr. Carrillo.

Pritumumab works by targeting ectodomain vimentin, a protein expressed on the surface of epithelial cancers. Because vimentin is found in a variety of cancers, the clinical trial at Hoag could have implications for more common cancers, such as breast or lung. In fact, the Hoag trial will employ a unique Phase I design that can ultimately treat a variety of brain cancers from gliomas and other primary brain tumors to brain metastases and leptomeningeal cancers arising from breast, lung and other solid tumors.

"There are significant unmet medical needs in a variety of cancers,” said Sean Carrick, CEO of Nascent Biotech, makers of the immunotherapy treatment. “Nascent is committed to changing patient expectations and outcomes in one of the world's most debilitating cancers and Hoag is a natural partner towards achieving this goal. We're highly encouraged by the potential of Pritumumab to deliver an innovative, first-in-class treatment option, and we are delighted to be working closely with Hoag in this study.”

Hoag’s Phase I clinical trials and many aspects of its cancer research are significantly supported by philanthropy.

For more information on the research studies and clinical trials at Hoag, visit www.hoag.org/clinicaltrials.


As the largest cancer program in Southern California outside of Los Angeles County, Hoag Family Cancer Institute treats more than 4,000 new 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. With dedicated, site-specific nurse navigation and extensive support services, Hoag helps patients optimize quality of life from diagnosis through survivorship. Hoag Family Cancer Institute has received numerous national distinctions, including Hoag Radiation Oncology ranking in the top 1% of outpatient facilities in the Press Ganey® overall patient satisfaction ratings, andU.S. News & World Report ranking Hoag as high performing in cancer, lung cancer surgery and colon cancer surgery.


Delivering a personalized, integrated approach using best-practice guidelines, the most advanced technology, and integration of medical specialists in the most appropriate facilities, the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute (PFNI) at Hoag provides the highest quality care for patients with brain and spine disorders including stroke, aneurysms and vascular malformations, brain tumors, epilepsy, movement disorders, memory and cognitive disorders, pain, minimally invasive spine surgery, multiple sclerosis, addiction medicine and sleep disorders, as well as the mind-body interface of behavioral health. Several of Hoag’s PFNI programs have received high acclaim, including the stroke program, which was the first hospital in Orange County and the second in California to be named a Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV GL Healthcare. It was awarded the American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement for stroke care. And as one of the first centers in the U.S. to offer the most advanced radiosurgical treatment system available, Leksell Gamma Knife® Perfexion™, the PFNI brain tumor program is the largest in Orange County and is also among the top volume programs in the western United States. The epilepsy program is an accredited Level 4 center. The PFNI’s memory and cognitive disorders program is nationally recognized.


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. Hoag is a designated Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, women’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute, which consists of an orthopedic hospital and two ambulatory surgical centers. Hoag has been named one of the Best Regional Hospitals in the 2019 - 2020 U.S. News & World Report. For an unprecedented 23 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.

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To download the official press release, please click here.