“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.
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.