Study of STRO-002 Shows Promise of ADCs in Ovarian Cancer

John Diaz, MD, discusses the current results of the phase 1 trial of STRO-002, a novel FRα-targeting antibody-drug conjugate, in patients with ovarian cancer.

John Diaz, MD, the deputy chief of Gynecologic Oncology and director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, and lead physician of Clinical Research of Gynecologic Oncology at Miami Cancer Institute, Baptist Health South Florida, discusses the current results of the phase 1 trial of STRO-002, a novel FRα-targeting antibody-drug conjugate, (NCT03748186) in patients with ovarian cancer.

According to Diaz, the results of STRO-002 treatment have been positive. The drug works by binding to cancer cells. After binding occurs, a payload drug is delivered, leading to clinical activity in that cell and neighboring cells. Diaz describes this much like a “Trojan horse.” So far, response rates for this agent have been higher than other medications in its class, leading to fast-track designation.

Currently, the study is still open, and phase 1 results are encouraging, according to Diaz. The goal is to move the drug into phase 1 and 2 trials, and to determine its effectiveness in platinum-resistant cancers. 

0:08 | The exciting part of this trial is this trial is looking at a new class of drugs, what we call an antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs. The way I explain this drug to my patients is that it's a little bit like a Trojan horse. So, on the outside of these drugs, there are different receptors. This particular drug is an antifolate receptor, so it binds to cancer cells, particularly platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cells that tend have a lot of those receptors on their surface. So, once the drug binds to that cancer cell, it then introduces that Trojan horse into the cell, and that's where it releases its payload or its drug, and that's where it has activity into that cell as well as the neighboring cells.

These results have been pretty exciting. They were recently presented, and it showed that the response rates for this medication were higher than we'd expect for medications in this class. And because of those encouraging results, with the decrease in CA-125 and seeing responses like stable disease, that the FDA granted fast track designation.

1:16 | The trial is still open. Again, we're very encouraged by the initial phase 1 results and we've increased the cohort and the number of patients that we’re enrolling into the trial.

We're hoping now with the FDA fast track that we can then move this drug along to further trials, phase 2, and potentially phase 3. The goal is to see exactly how effective it is in the treatment of platinum-resistant cancer and see if we can bring this drug to market sooner to help women with this disease.