Ipilimumab is a drug approved for treating melanoma. It is an antibody against CTLA-4, a molecule that controls a part of the immune system by shutting it down. Researchers believe that an antibody against CTLA-4 could stop it from turning off the immune system, and allow an immune response that may help the body to destroy cancer cells. They believe this immune reaction can also work against stomach and esophageal cancers.
In this study, investigators want to determine if giving ipilimumab after initial standard therapy for inoperable or metastatic gastric (stomach) cancer or cancer of the junction between the esophagus and the stomach (gastroesophageal cancer) is more effective than continuing with standard therapy. Initial therapy includes the drugs oxaliplatin and either 5-fluorouracil (FOLXFOX therapy) or capecitabine (Capeox therapy).
All patients will have had and responded to three to four months of FOLFOX or Capeox therapy. Patients will then be randomly assigned to one of two groups: those who receive ipilimumab, or those who continue with 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine.