Out of Several Recent Drug Approvals in NSCLC, Tabrecta Most 'Practice Changing' of All, According to Expert
“One FDA approval that we were quite excited about (is Tabrecta). And I've actually already put some patients on it; it's a very good drug,” Dr. Timothy Burns said in a recent interview.
BY Ryan McDonald and Timothy Burns
PUBLISHED July 13, 2020
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a nationwide quarantine during the last several months, the Food and Drug Administration has continued to approve countless cancer drugs. In particular, the agency handed out seven approvals in the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) space in May.
In a recent interview with CURE®, Dr. Timothy Burns, a medical oncologist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, highlighted which of the many NSCLC approvals he views as practice changing.
“I've actually already put some patients on it; it's a very good drug,” he said.
CURE®: Out of the seven FDA approvals in the non-small cell lung cancer space in May, which was the biggest in terms of impacting practice?
Capmatinib (Tabrecta), which is a MET inhibitor. That's the first FDA approved inhibitor for MET exon 14 skipping mutations and that really is practice changing. I mean, that'll be used, in treatment-naive patients, as well as patients that have received other therapies because the response rates are between 40 to 60% ... and the responses can be up to a year. And so, I think that's one FDA approval that we were quite excited about. And I've actually already put some patients on it; it's a very good drug. That's clearly (an) area of need.
You know, as an oncologist, there are lots of areas we can do better, especially in lung cancer. I mean, the five-year survival is still about 17% and median survival is still between 12 and 14 months. And so, we've made a lot of progress on … chipping away at different subtypes that are driven by these molecular alterations. And so, this is another subtype that I think we're all quite excited about.
That was definitely practice changing that came out. I think that's probably the most that, besides the ADUARA trial, which looked at osimertinib, or Tagrisso, in the adjuvant setting and had an 83% reduction in disease recurrence. I think those are really the two kind of, I'd say practice changing drugs, although … it's FDA approved, it's not FDA approved yet for the adjuvant setting, so, after you resect the tumor; but I would expect that (when) we look back (it will be found) to be one of the more practice changing things that we've seen.