Frontline Setting for ALK+ NSCLC Set to Undergo Shift

Excerpt:

“Currently available as a second-line therapy for patients with ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), alectinib’s (Alecensa) frontline potential is being explored in the ongoing phase III ALEX study (NCT02075840), which could transform first-line treatment for these patients.

“This study is comparing alectinib with crizotinib (Xalkori)—a current first-line option—in the frontline setting for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC. The oncology community is anticipating reports on the data in the first half of 2017.”

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Ceritinib Provides Longer Progression-Free Survival Than Chemotherapy in Phase III Trial of ALK Rearranged Lung Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Ceritinib provides longer progression-free survival than chemotherapy in crizotinib-pre-treated patients with non-small-cell lung cancer harbouring an ALK rearrangement, according to results of the phase III ASCEND-5 study presented at the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen.

” ‘Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should receive front line therapy with the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor crizotinib,’ said lead author Professor Giorgio Scagliotti, head of the Department of Oncology, University of Turin, Italy. ‘Most patients develop resistance to crizotinib and currently second line treatment is represented by chemotherapy alone.’ ”

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FDA Submission Completed for Brigatinib in ALK-Positive NSCLC

Excerpt:

“A new drug application (NDA) has been submitted for brigatinib (AP26113) as a potential treatment for patients with advanced ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following resistance or intolerance to crizotinib (Xalkori), according the developer of the ALK inhibitor, Ariad Pharmaceuticals.

“The application was based on findings from the phase II ALTA study, which was presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, along with results from an earlier phase I/II trial. In ALTA, the confirmed objective response rate (ORR) for brigatinib at 180 mg daily was 54%, which included a complete response rate of 4%. In those with measurable, active brain metastases treated with the 180 mg dose (n = 18), the intracranial ORR was 67%. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 12.9 months.”

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ALK Mutation Variant May Affect Response to Targeted Agents

Excerpt:

“Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-targeting agents such as crizotinib may work most effectively in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with ALK variant 1, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“Because the magnitude of response as well as durations of response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that target ALK varies among ALK-positive NSCLC patients, Tatsuya Yoshida, MD, PhD, of the Aichi Cancer Center Hospital in Japan, and colleagues assessed the efficacy of crizotinib among 35 patients whose ALK variant could be determined and who received the treatment as their initial ALK-TKI.

“Ten of the patients received crizotinib as a first-line treatment, while the majority, 18 patients, received the oral drug as a second-line therapy. The median progression-free survival (PFS) among patients in the study was 9.7 months.”

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Lung Cancer Highlights from ASCO 2016


This year, the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) did not produce any truly groundbreaking revelations about new treatments for lung cancer. However, researchers did report quite a few positive findings, and some disappointing ones. I have summarized some of the more prominent presentations below. Continue reading…


Brigatinib Shows Promise in ALK-Positive NSCLC After Crizotinib Therapy

Excerpt:

“The investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) brigatinib offered good response rates in a pivotal phase II trial of patients with ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease progressed on crizotinib. The results were presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 3–7 in Chicago (abstract 9007).

“ ‘Most ALK-positive NSCLC patients treated with crizotinib eventually progress, often due to acquired ALK resistance mutations and/or poor CNS drug penetration,’ said Dong-Wan Kim, MD, PhD, of Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea, who presented the study.

“Brigatinib, a next-generation ALK TKI designed to have broad activity against resistant ALK mutants, showed promising clinical activity in a phase I/II study of crizotinib-treated ALK-positive NSCLC patients. The new open-label phase II ALTA study included 222 patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC who had progressive disease on crizotinib. Patients were randomized to two brigatinib treatment regimens: group A (112 patients) received oral brigatinib 90 mg once per day, and group B (110 patients) received the same dose for 7 days followed by 180 mg once per day.”

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Crizotinib Tops Chemo for ALK-Positive NSCLC With Brain Metastases

Excerpt:

“First-line crizotinib therapy offered better intracranial disease control rate (IC-DCR) than chemotherapy in patients with ALK-positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and stable treated brain metastases, according to results of a phase III study.

“Earlier results from the ongoing PROFILE 1014 trial showed that crizotinib offers better progression-free survival (PFS) and response rates compared with pemetrexed-platinum chemotherapy. ‘Although the development of targeted therapies has improved outcomes for selected patient populations with oncogenic driver mutations, brain metastases are frequent and result in significant morbidity and mortality in patients with lung cancer,’ wrote study authors led by Benjamin J. Solomon, MBBS, PhD, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in East Melbourne, Australia.”

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FDA Expands Use of Xalkori to Treat Rare Form of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Xalkori (crizotinib) to treat people with advanced (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have an ROS-1 gene alteration. Xalkori is the first and only FDA approved treatment for patients with ROS-1 positive NSCLC.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, with an estimated 221,200 new diagnoses and 158,040 deaths in 2015, according to the National Cancer Institute.  ROS-1 gene alterations, thought to lead to abnormal cells, have been identified in various cancers, including NSCLC. ROS-1 gene alterations are present in approximately 1 percent of patients with NSCLC. The overall patient and disease characteristics of NSCLC with ROS-1 gene alterations appear similar to NSCLC with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene alterations, for which crizotinib use was previously approved. Xalkori was approved to treat certain patients with late-stage NSCLC that expresses an abnormal ALK gene in 2011.”


Chugai’s ALK Inhibitor “Alecensa®” Trial Stopped Early for Benefit

“Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (TOKYO: 4519) announced that it received a recommendation by an independent data monitoring committee (IDMC) that the J-ALEX Study, a phase III study targeting ALK fusion gene positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) being conducted in Japan, should be stopped early as the study met its primary endpoint at a pre-planned interim analysis. The study showed that patients lived significantly longer without disease worsening (progression-free survival, PFS) when treated with Alecensa® compared to crizotinib.

“The J-ALEX study is an open-label, randomized phase III study that compares the efficacy and safety between Alecensa and crizotinib. The J-ALEX study enrolled 207 patients with ALK fusion gene positive advanced or recurrent NSCLC who either had not undergone chemotherapy or had undergone one chemotherapy regimen. The subjects were allocated to the Alecensa group or the crizotinib group in a one to one ratio.”