Drug compatible with patients according to the genetic test of the tumor shows signs of being effective


Dublin, Ireland: Treatment with capivasertib, a drug designed to work against a specific genetic mutation found in some tumors, shows signs of efficacy in a study of 35 patients presented today (Tuesday) at the 30th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapy in Dublin, Ireland.

The phase 2 study (EAY131-Y) is part of a larger study in the US, called NCI-MATCH (EAY131), which aims to determine whether cancer patients can be treated successfully by selecting therapies that target gene abnormalities found in their tumors by type of cancer.

The researchers say their results provide further evidence that the approach of adapting treatment according to tumor genes could offer more effective treatments for individual patients in the future. The more traditional approach is to treat patients based on what has worked in the past for other patients with the same type of cancer.

The research was presented by Dr. Kevin Kalinsky, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Presbyterian University of New York-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, USA. He explained: "Capivasertib can be taken orally and is a type of medicine called an AKT inhibitor, which means that it binds to a molecule called AKT that has mutated a change that helps cancer cells grow. 2 study, capivasertib showed potential in the treatment of an aggressive form of breast cancer.

"In this study, we wanted to see if capivasertib could be used in patients with any type of cancer whose tumors have the mutation that causes the AKT molecule to become overactive and make the cancer grow."

Patients were selected because their tumor cells were tested. Each of the 35 patients in the study was carrying the AKT mutation in tumor cells. Although this mutation occurs in several different types of cancer, it is usually rare. The researchers found the mutation in 1.3% of patients (70 of 5548) tested centrally in the NCI-MATCH trial.

In all patients in the EAY131-Y study, cancer spread to other parts of the body, and most had received three or more previous treatments. Patients were treated with capivasertib, taken by mouth twice a day, in weekly cycles of four days with treatment and three days without treatment.

Tumors of the patients were measured by imaging tests, such as CT scans, before and after treatment. In the best confirmed responses, the tumor reduced in size in eight patients (23%), and in 16 patients (46%) the tumor did not grow but did not shrink either. In three patients (9%), the tumor increased.

The researchers observed the following side effects of the drug, saying that physicians should administer them carefully in patients treated with capivasertib: high blood sugar, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and rashes.

Dr. Kalinsky said, "Overall, 23% of patients in our study experienced a positive response, which was defined as tumor shrinkage before starting capivasertib. We determined in advance that if 16% of patients experienced this treatment response , would be a sign to take the drug to a larger test.This is a positive result in a study with patients whose cancers continued to grow despite previous treatments.

Researchers estimate that, six months after treatment, the percentage of patients alive and without growing tumors was 52%.

"More studies are needed to learn the benefit in each type of tumor and to understand why some patients have not had a response while others have had an extended time without tumor growth," added Kalinsky. .

Professor Charles Swanton of the Francis Crick Institute in London, UK, is the scientific co-chair of the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium and was not involved in the research. He said, "Although we understand more than ever about the role of genes in different types of cancer, there is still a lack of evidence on the use of this knowledge to guide treatments and improve patient survival. is not widely available.

"This study is a small but important piece of evidence and is part of a larger study that will help us move towards more personalized cancer treatments.

"This experimental approach is particularly important for those with rarer cancers, where we know less about which treatments are most effective and conducting patient testing is difficult."

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Provided by:
ECCO – the European organization CanCer


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