Targeted treatment for some non-small cell lung cancers "effective"

29 Sep 2014

For patients with non-small cell lung cancer with a specific mutation, whose disease has progressed after chemotherapy, the drug dabrafenib (a BRAF inhibitor) has significant anti-tumor activity.

These results were presented at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid, Spain.

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About the BRAF mutation

“Reports of lung cancers bearing mutations in BRAF have generated considerable interest because these mutations may be associated with increased sensitivity to BRAF tyrosine-kinase inhibiting agents,” says lead author Dr David Planchard, pulmonary oncologist at the Gustav-Roussy Cancer Campus, Paris, France.

Planchard says studies suggest that activating BRAF mutations are present in around 2% of lung carcinomas—approximately 80% of which are V600E mutations. The BRAF V600E mutations are frequently associated with shorter disease-free, overall survival, and lower response rates to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Study results: 1 in 3 patients show overall response

Data from the 78 patients enrolled in the study showed an overall response rate of 32% in patients who had already received one or more prior treatments, and a disease control rate of 56% after 12 weeks of treatment.

The median duration of response was 11.8 months, and among the six first-line patients, three of them had partial response to the treatment.

The safety profile with dabrafenib was similar to that observed with previous studies in melanoma, the most common adverse events being

  • fever (36% of patients)
  • asthenia (30%)
  • hyperkeratosis (30%)
  • loss of appetite (29%)
  • nausea (27%)
  • cough (26%)
  • fatigue (26%) and
  • skin papilloma (26%).

Cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas, including keratoacanthoma, were also reported in 18% of patients.

"Breakthrough therapy" designation by the FDA

Based on earlier interim efficacy and safety data from this study, dabrafenib received a Breakthrough Therapy designation in lung cancer from the FDA in January this year, Planchard says. In summary, he says, “These findings establish dabrafenib as an effective treatment option for patients with previously treated advanced BRAF V600E non-small cell lung cancer.”

 

Source: eCancer News

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