Researchers find molecular treatment works against metastatic cancer spread to the brain

pharmafile | February 11, 2022 | News story | Medical Communications  

According to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, scientists at Mount Sinai conducting clinical trials of a drug targeting a cancer gene found that it increased metastatic cancer patients’ survival, and was able to work within the brain.

One significant finding of the study, not highlighted by initial trials, was that the drug was able to effectively cross the brain-barrier. Researchers found evidence suggesting the therapy was working against metastatic cancer that spread to the brain.

The drug, entrectinib, targets cancers involving fusions between the cancer gene NTRK and other genes. This includes certain types of lung, breast, colon, and other cancers. Gene fusions involving NTRK can be associated with a large range of tumour types, occurring in 90% of rare paediatric tumours and rarer subtypes of breast cancers and salivary cancers.

Christian Rolfo, MD, PhD, MBA, Professor of Medicine (Haematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Associate Director for Clinical Research in the Centre for Thoracic Oncology at The Tisch Cancer Institute, shared:

“This is the largest study evaluating the safety and activity of entrectinib in NTRK fusion-positive solid tumours. The confirmation of substantial effect on metastases in the brain suggests that entrectinib could address the unmet need of an effective treatment for patients with NTRK fusion-positive tumours that spread to the central nervous system. Although NTRK fusions are rare, our results should encourage broader screening for these fusions in patients with solid tumours as they may benefit from entrectinib, particularly because the extended life expectancy of these patients may increase the likelihood of metastases in the brain.”

Ana Ovey

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