Patient Enrollment in Clinical Trials Can Benefit Outcomes and Expand Research

According to an expert from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, patient enrollment in clinical trials that involve genomic testing are important in progressing research in their cancer types.

When patients enroll in clinical trials and undergo genomic testing, – which analyzes DNA sequences in tumors – it helps progress research for their disease, says an expert from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“There are already genomic markers that are linked to FDA approvals beyond histology, so in the tumor agnostic fashion,” said Dr. Funda Meric-Bernstam, Chair of the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center, in an interview with CURE®. “So that alone, I think, is a reason to think if a patient (is) interested in molecularly selected therapy or clinical trials, it's worth pursuing molecular testing in that front.”

Meric-Bernstam recently presented findings from the MyPathway HER2 basket study at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, showing that Perjeta (pertuzumab) plus Herceptin (trastuzumab) was active in a wide variety of KRAS wild-type, HER2-amplified/overexpressed advanced solid tumor types. The data, according to the presentation, suggests that HER2-targeted therapy may be useful in KRAS wild-type tumors.

“And I think that HER2 example here that we've shown really highlights that there are targets that have not had broad approval, but really enrollment in clinical trials that target such drivers such as HER2 that can clearly benefit patients,” Meric-Bernstam added. “So I do think it's worth enrolling clinical trials when feasible, but really recognizing that these are compelling targets.”

Transcription:

So there are certain diseases where there's already FDA approved drugs, one or more, that are linked to a specific biomarker that’s genomic and in those diseases we often do genomic testing robustly, without I think more angst about ordering it like, you know, for … lung cancer and melanoma. But you know, there are already genomic markers that are linked to FDA approvals beyond histology, so in the tumor agnostic fashion. So that alone, I think, is a reason to think if a patient (is) interested in molecularly selected therapy or clinical trials, it's worth pursuing molecular testing in that front. And I think that HER2 example here that we've shown really highlights that there are targets that have not had broad approval, but really enrollment in clinical trials that target such drivers such as HER2 that can clearly benefit patients. So I do think it's worth enrolling clinical trials when feasible, but really recognizing that these are compelling targets. Based on this clinical trial, pertuzumab and trastuzumab now has been incorporated into the NCCN guidelines for colon cancer. That's KRAS wild-type, as well as salivary cancer, that's HER2-positive.

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