The findings open up the door for a fourth-line treatment option in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors with disease progression.
Dose escalation of Qinlock (ripretinib) showed clinical benefit and had no significant increase of side effects in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors whose disease had progressed.
“I think what we learned from the study is that yes, it is feasible to give twice daily dosing, that there is anti-tumor control of a reasonably long duration, and importantly, it didn't seem to change side effects,” said Dr. Michael Heinrich, professor of medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University and one of the study authors, in an interview with CURE®.
The analyses from the phase 3 INVICTUS study, presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, were an important advance to provide an option for a fourth-line treatment, said Heinrich.
This was an important finding, that patients taking ripretinib (Qinlock), if they increase their dose, could get some additional benefit out of the drug. The other question that we were looking at is, “Well, is it true that you could take twice as much and have the same side effects as the once daily?” And that generally was true as well. Only a few symptoms or abnormalities increased taking twice daily. Anemia was a little bit more common in patients who took the higher dose, and abdominal pain was more common as well, although, since the patients had progressive tumors, it could be that the abdominal pain was actually due to the tumor getting worse, not necessarily because of the drug. And so I think what we learned from the study is that yes, it is feasible to give twice daily dosing, that there is anti-tumor control of a reasonably long duration, and importantly, it didn't seem to change side effects. You know, that's a big thing for patients as we switch from drug to drug, you know, we're always hoping for a better effect against the tumor, but sometimes the side effects profile could get much worse or get much better. And it's sort of like, it's a game show, do you choose door one, or you choose door two? And you don't really know what's behind the door, you hope you get the good prize, but you know, might be the goat or something. So, I think this is an option for patients that I think is important to consider.
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