for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at UC Davis
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Arnaud Bewley, MD (ucdavis)



This is a multi-center, open-label Phase 0 Master Protocol designed to study the localized pharmacodynamics (PD) of anti-cancer therapies within the tumor microenvironment (TME) when administered intratumorally in microdose quantities via the CIVO device in patients with surface accessible solid tumors for which there is a scheduled surgical intervention. CIVO stands for Comparative In Vivo Oncology. Multiple substudies will include specified investigational agents and combinations to be evaluated.

Official Title

A Phase 0 Master Protocol Using the CIVO® Platform to Evaluate Intratumoral Microdoses of Anti-Cancer Therapies in Patients With Solid Tumors


CIVO is a research tool composed of a hand-held single-use sterile injector coupled with fluorescent tracking microspheres called CIVO GLO that mark the sites of drug microdose injection, enabling rapid assessment of multiple oncology drugs or drug combinations simultaneously within a patient's tumor. Tumor responses to cancer treatments are highly context-specific and often involve complex interactions between the anti-cancer therapy, genetically diverse tumor cells, and a heterogeneous TME. This complexity is rarely modeled accurately in preclinical translational models of cancer. By utilizing intratumoral microdose injections with CIVO in advance of scheduled surgical intervention, this study will evaluate anti-cancer therapies directly in patients each with their own unique tumor genomic profile, intact TME, and immune system functional status. Because the platform delivers microdose amounts of each test agent or combination directly into the patient's tumor tissue, hypotheses can be tested earlier in the drug development process, consistent with the goals of the 2006 FDA Exploratory IND Guidance for Industry.

The CIVO device penetrates solid tumors and simultaneously delivers subtherapeutic microdoses of up to eight anti-cancer agents or combinations of anti-cancer agents co-injected with CIVO GLO into discrete regions of the tumor as drug columns. At the time of the planned surgical intervention (at least four hours to up to seven days after the CIVO microdose injection), the injected tumor tissue is then excised and tumor responses are assessed via histological staining of tumor cross-sections sampled perpendicular to each injection column. Co-injection with CIVO GLO enables identification of each injection site during resection as well as in tissues stained for analysis. This Phase 0 Master Protocol is aimed at distinguishing promising candidates earlier in the drug development process while also avoiding systemic toxicities associated with typical clinical exposures to these therapies.


Solid Tumor, HNSCC, SCCHN, lymphoma, sarcoma, breast adenocarcinoma, melanoma, intratumoral microdosing, microdose injection, microdosing, in vivo oncology, in vivo drug sensitivity, tumor microenvironment, multiplexed immunohistochemistry, head and neck cancer, pharmacodynamic biomarkers, CIVO, master protocol, precision oncology, soft tissue sarcoma, Pembrolizumab, Rilvegostomig, Volrustomig, Sabestomig, Rilvegostomig, Volrustomig, Sabestomig, Pembrolizumab


For people ages 18 years and up

*This list is representative of study inclusion/exclusion criteria. Each substudy may include variations on these criteria.

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Ability and willingness to comply with the study's visit and assessment schedule.
  2. Male or female ≥ 18 years of age at Visit 1 (Screening).
  3. Pathologic diagnosis of [solid tumors] indicated in the relevant substudy(ies).
  4. Ability and willingness to provide written informed consent. Voluntary written consent must be given before performance of any study related procedure not part of standard medical care, with the understanding that consent may be withdrawn by the patient at any time without prejudice to future medical care.
  5. At least one lesion (primary tumor, recurrent tumor, or metastatic lymph node) that is surface accessible for CIVO injection that contains viable minimum tumor tissue volume and characteristics (e.g., based on clinical evaluation, available pre-operative imaging, pre-injection ultrasound imaging, or pathology reports indicating lesion with appropriate viable tumor volume without excessive cysts or necrosis) and for which there is a planned surgical intervention. The patient's presentation, surgical and pathology plan may determine whether a lesion is eligible with respect to a given CIVO MID needle configuration.
  6. Female patients who:
    • Are postmenopausal for at least one year before the screening visit, OR
    • Are surgically sterile, OR
    • Are of childbearing potential who agree to practice a highly effective method of contraception from the time of signing the Informed Consent Form (ICF) and during study participation OR agree to completely abstain from heterosexual intercourse.
    • Agree to refrain from donating ova during study participation.

Male patients, even if surgically sterile (i.e., status post-vasectomy), who:

  • Agree to practice effective barrier contraception from the time of signing the ICF and during study participation OR agree to completely abstain from heterosexual intercourse.
  • Agree to refrain from donating sperm during study participation.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Tumors near or involving critical structures for which, in the opinion of the treating clinician, injection would pose undue risk to the patient.
  2. Female patients who are:
    • Both lactating and breastfeeding, OR
    • Have a positive β-subunit human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) pregnancy test at screening verified by the Investigator.
  3. Any uncontrolled intercurrent illness, condition, serious medical or psychiatric illness, or circumstance that, in the opinion of the Investigator, could interfere with adherence to the study's procedures or requirements, or otherwise compromise the study's objectives.


  • UC Davis accepting new patients
    Sacramento California 95817 United States
  • Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) accepting new patients
    Portland Oregon 97239 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Arnaud Bewley, MD (ucdavis)
    Associate Professor, Otolaryngology, School of Medicine. Authored (or co-authored) 63 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Presage Biosciences
Phase 1 Solid Tumor Research Study
Study Type
Expecting 15 study participants
Last Updated