Dublin, Ireland: Treatment with capivasertib, a drug that works against a specific gene mutation found in some tumors, shows signs of efficacy in a study of 35 patients today (Tuesday) at the 30th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium Molecular targets and cancer therapeutics were presented in Dublin, Ireland.

The Phase 2 trial (EAY131-Y) is part of a larger US study called NCI-MATCH (EAY131) to determine whether cancer patients can be successfully treated by selecting therapies that target their tumors Gene anomalies found target to cancer.

Researchers say their findings provide further evidence that the approach to tailoring treatment to tumorigenesis could provide 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 Kevin Kalinsky, Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York's Presbyterian-Columbia University Center, Irving, USA. He said, "Capivasertib can be taken orally, a type of drug called an AKT inhibitor, which means it binds to a molecule called AKT that mutates a change that plays a role in the growth of cancer cells Capivasertib has shown potential in treating an aggressive form of breast cancer in earlier phase 2 study.

"In this study, we wanted to find out if Capivasertib can be used in patients with any type of cancer whose tumors have the mutation that causes the AKT molecule to become overactive and cause the cancer to grow."

The patients were selected by testing the cells from their tumors. Each of the 35 patients in the study carried the AKT mutation in the tumor cells. Although this mutation occurs in several cancers, it is rare overall. The researchers found the mutation in 1.3% of patients (70 out of 5548) who were tested centrally in the NCI-MATCH study.

In all patients in the EAY131-Y study, the cancer had spread to other parts of the body, and most had already received three or more treatments. Patients were treated with capivasertib, taken orally twice a day, in weekly cycles of four days on treatment and three days on no treatment.

The patients' tumors were measured before and after treatment by imaging techniques such as CT scans. In the best confirmed responses, the tumor decreased in eight patients (23%) and in 16 patients (46%) the tumor did not grow, but did not contract. In three patients (9%) the tumor grew.

The researchers observed the following side effects of the drug and said that doctors should treat it carefully in patients treated with capivasertib: high blood sugar, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and rash.

Dr. Kalinsky said: "Overall, 23% of patients in our study had a positive response, defined as tumor shrinkage, before starting with capivasertib, which is a signal to turn the drug into a larger study, which is a positive finding in one Study with patients whose cancer continued to grow despite previous treatment. "

The researchers estimate that six percent after treatment, the percentage of patients who are still alive and whose tumors do not grow is 52%.

"This study is a limited but important evidence, and further studies are needed to understand the benefit of each tumor type and to understand why some patients did not respond, while others had a longer time without tumor growth," Dr. Kalinsky added.

Professor Charles Swanton of the Francis Crick Institute, 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 the role of genes in a variety of cancers, there is still a lack of evidence on how to use this knowledge to guide treatments and improve patient survival outside of a trial environment not widely used.

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

"This approach is especially important for patients with rare cancers who are not sure which treatments are most effective and difficult to conduct patient studies."


Explore further:
Tumor immune cells could support cancer therapies, a study shows

Provided by:
ECCO-the European CanCer Organization

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