Trending News on Targeted Oncology, Week of May 15, 2020

Targeted Oncology reviews trending news online for the week of May 15, 2020, including recent updates from studies of COVID-19 and the latest oncology news.

This week in oncology news, the FDA granted approval to a new treatment for patients with lung or thyroid cancer who harbor a RET alteration and a Breakthrough Therapy designation to an agent for the treatment patients with HER2-positive unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in the third-line setting and beyond.

Among other news, an expert from the West Cancer and Research Institute reviewed the evolving treatment paradigm for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Ahead of the 2020 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Annual Meeting, updated data after approximately 5 years of follow-up were announced for the phase III SOLO2/ENGOT-ov21 clinical trial in patients with BRCA/12-mutated platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. Another study demonstrated that patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who received a higher dose of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells achieved complete responses, regardless of cell dose, which was highly correlated with long-term survival.

On May 18, 2020, Targeted Oncology will host a #TargetedChat tweet chat on Twitter to discuss the case of a patient with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Stay tuned for the discussion with Tian Zhang, MD, MHS, of the Duke Cancer Institute, at 8pm Eastern Standard Time.

These updates and others were trending this week:

FDA Approves Selpercatinib for RET+ Lung and Thyroid Cancers

The FDA granted approved selpercatinib capsules for the treatment of patients with lung cancer or thyroid cancer harboring RET alterations. This marks the first treatment approved to target RET gene alterations.

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Trastuzumab Deruxtecan in HER2+ Gastric Cancer

The FDA granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation to fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive unresectable or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma who have received 2 or more prior regimens including trastuzumab.

The Expanding Continuum of Care in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Although new therapies to further extend survival and quality of life in patients with mCRC are needed, better selection of patients for available treatment choices is also essential. This article, featuring additional insights from Axel Grothey, MD, reviews the evolving treatment landscape and continuum of care for mCRC, with an emphasis on the role of newer agents in the third- and fourth-line settings.

Maintenance Olaparib Provides Significant Long-Term OS Benefit in Relapsed Ovarian Cancer

Olaparib as maintenance induced an improved median overall survival of 12.9 months over placebo in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer harboring a BRCA1/2 mutation, according to final OS results from the SOLO2/ENGOT-ov21 study. Poveda presented the updated survival results in a press briefing ahead of the 2020 ASCO Virtual Annual Meeting.

Higher CAR T-Cell Dosage Improves Efficacy Without Toxicity in Relapsed or Refractory CLL

CAR T cells targeting CD19 may be more effective at a dose of 5 x 108 than 5 x 107 in patients with relapsed or refractory CLL. Achievement of a complete response was highly correlated with long-term survival, regardless of cell dose, and toxicity was comparable in both dose groups.

Results of Phase I Study Reach Primary End Point for mCRPC

Scott T. Tagawa, MD, MS of Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses a phase I dose-escalation study of actinium-225 in patients with progressive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who had previously received at least 1 pathway inhibitor.

Update on HER2-Targeted Therapy in Early Breast Cancer

In this Investigator’s Perspectives series, Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses newer approaches to managing early stages of HER2+ breast cancer in both the neoadjuvant and adjuvant spaces.

Special Feature: COVID-19 Update

Leronlimab Shows Further Promise for COVID-19 Treatment, Study Shows

A cohort of 10 critically ill patients with COVID-19 received more effective immune response after leronlimab treatment compared with healthy controls. To disseminate results that can inform the public health in response to COVID-19, CytoDyn announced the publication of their findings in a pre-print manuscript, which has been submitted for publication and is currently under peer review.

FDA Advances Development of New Options for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

The FDA provided new guidance for researchers developing prevention and treatment options for COVID-19 in order to accelerate the process of developing new drugs. Guidance documents should make the submission process for the initiation of studies for new drugs and biological products more efficient, and recommendations outline ways to design trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatments.